Do you have an elderly relative who is suffering from a condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia? For individuals suffering from these conditions, decision-making can become more difficult with each passing day. If you are considering pursuing conservatorship in Pasadena, consulting with an experienced conservatorship attorney is recommended.

There are other reasons that a relative may seek the creation of a conservatorship or guardianship. A conservatee is an individual who is limited or unable to make decisions related to personal care, medical treatment or finances. A conservator is responsible for taking over such matters, as deemed appropriate by a probate court. Conservatorship is applied to adults, whereas guardianship applies to minors under the age of 18.

Both conservatorships and guardianships involve the same responsibilities. However, this area of law is complex, as the individual needs and capabilities of the proposed conservatee are taken into account. It is also important that the court establishes the trustworthiness of any potential conservator.

What is a Conservatorship?

In the majority of cases, a conservatorship is created to protect a conservatee who is mentally unable to make sound decisions. These individuals are typically incapacitated due to age, mental illness or a developmental disability. However, there are instances where physical disabilities may result in a court creating a conservatorship.

A potential conservator cannot simply request the creation of a conservatorship without providing relevant information. Establishing why the conservatorship is needed, consulting with the potential conservatee and their family and gathering information about the proposed conservator are all important to the process.

The court will not issue letters of conservatorship and other necessary documentation unless all relevant forms and information are submitted. An attorney, who acts on behalf of the proposed conservatee, also has a role to play. By gathering information on all pertinent parties, the attorney can create a report that either supports or objects to a request for conservatorship. If a conservatorship is granted, a review will take place six months after the arrangement and each year thereafter.

Benefits of Conservatorship

While most proposed conservators have good intentions, untrustworthy individuals may attempt to exploit a proposed conservatee’s vulnerability. It is for this reason that the process is so robust and always focused on benefiting the conservatee. It is also not unusual for a proposed conservatee to resist offers of support. If there is a clear need for conservatorship, the court will base its decision on the individual merits of the case.

The inabilities to make decisions or communicate needs are common factors that may lead to the creation of a conservatorship. An individual who has suffered a TBI or paralysis may not have the capacity to handle finances or decisions related to medical treatment. Minors with developmental disabilities may also have additional needs that require the creation of guardianship. Having a relative take over these roles is often the only viable option.

A close family member may request conservatorship or guardianship to make life easier for a proposed conservatee. This legal process will also remove barriers related to dealing with medical and financial matters. Doctors, banks and creditors cannot discuss another individual’s information or allow you to make decisions on their behalf with legal authority.

If the idea of applying for conservatorship sounds too complicated, consult with Susan B. Geffen in Los Angeles. Susan can help you gather the information needed to file with the court, as well as completing any relevant paperwork on your behalf.

Call or contact Susan online to ask for a confidential consultation near Pasadena. If a loved one is finding it increasingly difficult to handle medical or financial matters, we can provide the support you need to seek conservatorship in California.

Elder Law Attorney (Lawyer for Old People) Susan B. Geffen

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