On the face of it, the process of gaining conservatorship or guardianship may seem daunting. In reality, all legal matters are complex. There are numerous factors to consider when determining whether or not a conservatorship is required. To put your mind at ease and get the process started, it helps to speak to an experienced conservatorship attorney near Encino.
A conservatorship involves taking responsibility for another individual’s medical or financial decisions. There are different kinds of conservatorship, depending on the proposed conservatee’s physical and mental capabilities.
A proposed conservatee may have the ability to make some decisions, in which case a full conservatorship is not usually necessary. A court may therefore grant a conservatorship that only covers specific decisions, such as dealing with medical or financial needs.
What is a Conservatorship?
If a conservatee is unable to make decisions or is vulnerable due to reduced mental capacity, a conservatorship can provide legal protections. A probate court is responsible for granting a conservatorship. Typical scenarios where a relative may seek a conservatorship include suspected elder abuse or due to a relative suffering from mental illness.
Letters of conservatorship and other forms may be obtained when a petition is filed with the probate court. Some of the information that must be submitted to the court includes reasons for seeking conservatorship, and relevant information about family and friends of the proposed conservatee.
A conservatee’s rights must be protected throughout the process. An experienced conservatorship attorney is responsible for ensuring these protections. Assets belonging to the conservatee are used to pay the attorney’s fees. The conservatee is consulted by the attorney, as are any relevant family and friends. Once these consultations are complete, the attorney will submit a report that includes legal arguments recommending for or against a conservatorship.
Benefits of Conservatorship
The court is also responsible for acting in the best interests of the conservatee, rather than the proposed conservator. It is not uncommon for vulnerable adults or children to suffer abuse when experiencing limited physical or mental capacity. However, a proposed conservatee may still resist help, which can compel to court to make the final decision on conservatorship. Once a conservatorship is in place, the arrangement is reviewed after six months and then every year from that point.
Regardless of how a conservatorship is decided, the only person who should benefit is the conservatee. Although a conservatorship may be granted due to physical incapacity, mental health is the most common consideration. Ultimately, the proposed conservatee’s ability to make important decisions on matters such as medical treatment and finances play the greatest role in the process.
If a proposed conservatee is fully incapacitated and cannot communicate or make decisions, a conservatorship may be necessary. Similarly, those suffering from conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia may have limited mental capacity. Proposed conservatees who were born with developmental or other disabilities may also require support from a conservator or guardian.
In these scenarios, relatives or friends of the proposed conservatee may wish to provide support. Without a legal mechanism in place, there is a risk of abuse. Determining if a potential conservator is trustworthy is therefore an important part of the process.
If you are located in Encino, Susan B. Geffen can provide all the support you need in seeking conservatorship. Her Los Angeles offices are welcoming, and all discussions are confidential. This is your opportunity to provide the protections and help that your loved one deserves.
Call or contact Susan online to schedule a confidential conservatorship consultation. If you have any questions or concerns, we can provide all the legal support that you need in Encino, California.