Is a family member or loved one incapacitated in a coma or with a disease such as Alzheimer’s or dementia?

If so, a conservatorship may be the solution to ensure that you are properly able to care for this incapacitated person.

A conservatorship is the appointment of a conservator or guardian by a court to care for another adult, the conservatee, who is incapacitated by illness or old age.

As good estate planning attorneys in Covina and Temple City,  we always like to ensure that our clients understand the types of conservatorship.

There are two types of conservatorships:

  1. Conservator of the Person
    Through a conservator of the person, you, as the conservator, will be able to make healthcare-related decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person, the conservatee.
  2. Conservator of the Estate
    Through a conservator of the estate, you will be able to make financial, property and personal decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person. You will have to provide detailed accountings to the court showing how the funds were spent solely for the benefit of the conservatee.

If there is an extreme emergency, you may be able to obtain an emergency conservatorship. This emergency conservatorship will last until the hearing for the permanent conservatorship. The permanent conservatorship hearing is typically 6 to 8 weeks from filing the petition.

A conservatorship is a very court-involved process. When the petition is filed, a capacity declaration from the incapacitated person’s physician must be filed as well. Then, the court will send a court investigator to ascertain the capacity of the proposed conservatee, and the proposed conservatee will be assigned his or her own attorney by the court. The court offers these protections to the proposed conservatee to ensure that a person’s rights are not taken away from him or her, unless he or she is in fact incapacitated.

The conservatorship paperwork is voluminous, and the process involves many court appearances. As you can probably tell, a conservatorship is a complicated, involved process, but a process that may be necessary to ensure your loved one is properly cared for in regards to both health and finances.

If someone still has capacity, that person should execute a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Care Directive. Both of these documents may prevent the need for a conservatorship.

If the conservatorship is needed, please contact our office in Covina, California or Temple City, California. We will guide you through the process with direct, experienced advice.

For more information on Estate Planning For Old Age And Incapacity, check the following links: Estate Planning For Old Age & Incapacity – American Bar Association .