When a person is no longer able to manage their own medical or financial affairs or is vulnerable to undue influence by others due to a disability, illness or life circumstance, legal protections may have to be put in place to keep that person safe. This is particularly true if that person is without an estate plan.

In California, once a conservatorship petition is filed, a conservatorship can be established after a judge decides that a person (called the “conservatee”) is unable to take care of their personal needs or finances. California has specific rules regarding conservatorships, and an experienced California conservatorship attorney can properly counsel you through these series of rules and requirements.

The initiation of a conservatorship requires a proposed conservator (often a spouse, family member, professional fiduciary, friend, or person nominated in an advance health care directive) to file a court petition asking to be appointed as conservator to protect the proposed conservatee (an incapacitated spouse, parent, adult child, or friend) who is unable to provide for their own food, care and shelter, or is no longer able to manage their finances or resist the undue influence of others.

Having a court-supervised conservator can be extremely helpful in providing protection for the conservatee against financial and physical abuse. Once a conservatorship is established, the court will monitor the conservator by requiring him to account for the conservatee’s finances, and explain how the conservatee’s personal and health care are being managed.