Conservatorships & Guardianships in Sacramento and Surrounding Areas
Conservatorships and Guardianships in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Solano & San Joaquin Counties
Conservatorships and Guardianships are very similar matters under California Probate Law, but have different applications. Under either a Conservatorship or Guardianship, the court legally appoints a person or persons to have the responsibility of managing the personal care decisions and the property of another person who is either a minor, or is an adult who is mentally and/or physically incapacitated, therefore unable to make legal decisions on their own. Often, but not always, the person appointed is a spouse, parent or grandparent. Hill Law Offices, PC, can help you with both of these matters.
When an adult cannot make their own decisions due to mental and/or physical incapacity, a proceeding called a Conservatorship is often required. These situations often occur as people age and suffer from senile dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, or if they should become severely disabled by a serious accident causing brain damage, coma, or some other serious mental impairment.
A Conservatorship is a legal proceeding where the court appoints a Conservator to assume the rights and responsibilities of the person who is no longer able to reasonably care for himself or herself, called the Conservatee. The Conservator would be in charge of your physical care, housing, medical decisions, and finances, in the event of an incapacitating illness or end of life issue.
Conservatorships are expensive and time consuming, but sometimes necessary. However, a full and properly drafted Estate Plan is an excellent preventative measure, and can avoid the need for a conservatorship in most instances, with careful planning.
NOTE: A different type of conservatorship is required for adults who are psychologically impaired to the point of being gravely disabled, and potentially a danger to themselves or others, such as through schizophrenia, severe bipolar disorder, or some other serious psychological disturbance. This type of conservatorship is applied under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, otherwise called an LPS Conservatorship. If you are seeking this type of conservatorship, our assistance is limited under the law, but feel free to call for what limited advice we can give to you.
A proceeding where the court appoints a person who is not a minor child’s parent to care for that minor child is called a Guardianship. Occasionally, when a minor receives and inheritance, settlement or other substantial sum of money or property, even a parent is required to be appointed as Guardian of the minor’s estate, in order to manage the funds until the child reaches adulthood.
Similar to a Conservatorship described above, a Guardian of the Person is appointed under a legal proceeding by the court to make the minor’s personal care decisions including housing, educational and health care decisions. A Guardian of the Estate is appointed to manage any finances the minor may have or receive.
In your Estate Planning documents you may nominate a Guardian for your minor children in the event you are one day unable to care for them before they reach the age of majority. By nominating a Guardian or Guardians in your Estate Plan, you can avoid arguments among family members and close friends as to the appropriate person to care for your children, when you are no longer able to do so. Again, a carefully drafted Estate Plan can give you peace of mind by informing your friends, family and the courts who you believe is best suited to care for your children. We can help.
Contact Hill Law Offices, PC, today for further information on Conservatorships or Guardianships. We are available to explain the law to you and guiding you through the process. Call us today at 916-568-0212.