Some Californians become incapacitated due to an accident or illness and are unable to manage their own affairs. When adults are incapacitated in the state, their loved ones may seek to establish conservatorships. These are similar to guardianships but are designed for adults instead of for children. Conservatorships are managed by the courts, and they can place multiple legal requirements on the people who serve as conservators. If your loved one is no longer able to manage his or her finances or medical decisions, you should consult with a California estate planning and probate administration attorney at the Law Office of Kirk McIntosh.
The conservatorship process in California
In order to establish a conservatorship, you start by filing a petition with the probate court that asks for the court to appoint a conservator for your loved one. The court will schedule a hearing so that the judge can determine whether the appointment of a conservator is warranted. Prior to the hearing, an investigator from the probate court will be appointed. He or she will interview the allegedly incapacitated person as well as the person’s loved ones. Based on the evidence that the investigator gathers, he or she will make recommendations to the probate court. The court will review the investigator’s report, medical documents, physicians’ statements and other evidence that has been submitted prior to the hearing date.
At the hearing, the court will listen to testimony from the parties. If the case is complex, an additional hearing may be scheduled. When a conservator is appointed, he or she will have multiple fiduciary duties that are owed to the conservatee. These will include such things as paying bills, managing money, making health care decisions, and submitting regular reports to the court.
Getting help from a lawyer
If you believe that your loved one is no longer able to manage his or her affairs, you would benefit by getting legal help. Conservatorships can be complicated cases, and if you are appointed to serve as a conservator, you must take care to avoid mistakes. To learn more about how we might be able to help you, contact the Law Office of Kirk McIntosh today to schedule your consultation.