A conservatorship is a court proceeding to appoint a person or organization the ability to make financial and health care decisions for a loved one. A conservatorship will be granted after a judge decides that the individual cannot take care of themselves or their finances. A conservatorship can be over the person, the estate, or both.
The person or organization who is appointed by the court to make decisions is called the conservator, and the person about whom decisions will be made is called the conservatee. Conservators are generally family members or may be a professional conservatorship company.
What is a Conservatorship of the Person?
A conservatorship of the person is designed to assist individuals who cannot provide for their own basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
A court appointed conservator will decide where the conservatee lives and may be required to decide whether the conservatee should live at home or in an institution.
What is a Conservatorship of the Estate?
A conservatorship of the estate is designed to help individuals who have trouble handling their own income and debts or who are at risk of being the victim of unfair financial pressure from third parties. It provides a way to help a loved one who is losing assets or piling up bills because they are unable to manage their money or are being taken advantage of financially.
What is a General Conservatorship?
A general conservatorship is typically for the elderly and younger individuals who have suffered a serious impairment due to an accident. The two types of general conservatorships are a conservatorship of the person and a conservatorship of the estate. A court may appoint a conservatorship of the person or a conservatorship of the estate, or both.
What is a Limited Conservatorship?
A limited conservatorship is designed to help adults with developmental disabilities. It protects the conservatee’s health, welfare and safety while reserving to the limited conservatee any civil rights that he or she can manage without a conservatorship.
Note that with a general conservatorship all but very few basic civil rights are given to the general conservator. Because a conservatorship for adults with developmental disabilities is so “limited,” the petition for appointment of a limited conservator must specify the powers that are to be taken from the conservatee and transferred to the conservator.
The two types of limited conservatorships are a conservatorship of the person and a conservatorship of the estate. A court may appoint a conservatorship of the person or a conservatorship of the estate, or both.
What is a Temporary Conservatorship?
A temporary conservatorship is designed for someone who needs immediate help. In this situation it would be harmful to wait until the conclusion of the conservatorship proceeding to appoint a conservator so a judge will appoint a temporary conservator. The temporary conservator is appointed for a specific time until a permanent conservator can be appointed. A temporary conservator may arrange for temporary care, support and protection of the conservatee.
The two types of temporary conservatorships are a conservatorship of the person and a conservatorship of the estate. A court may appoint a conservatorship of the person or a conservatorship of the estate, or both.
Conservatorships can be confusing. If you have questions about whether or not this is the right decision for you, or how to start the process, let us know how we can help.