What is Conservatorship in California?

There are many different terms that come up in the process of tackling your estate or your elder law planning. For plenty of our Pasadena estate planning clients, these can be confusing from the perspective of connecting them to your individual plan. As we offer guidance on these issues regularly, this blog will help to break down the concept of conservatorship so you can better understand whether this might play a role in your estate or that of a loved one.

Under conservatorship proceedings in California, the court will appoint someone else to essentially “chaperone” your estate or your person or both. This is a significant responsibility handed over to another person since this individual could have a lot of power and decision-making authority on your behalf.

When it comes to conservatorship over your person, this includes attending appointments, assisting you with daily activities, or even shopping for you. When it comes to your management of your assets, this might include balancing your checkbook or paying bills.

In most cases, the person appointed in this role doesn’t have a previous personal connection to you; when it comes to the important role they play, this can work out in your favor for someone who has an objective background to help with all these kinds of tasks. You certainly can choose if you think a family member or friend would be a better person to serve in this role, so long as you can show that you still have legal capacity at the time you make this request, but because of the level of trust required, many people prefer an outside party.

This often comes up in the context of helping a loved one who is no longer able to care for themselves. If no other family members are willing or able to step in and play this role for your loved one, a conservatorship proceeding could be scheduled to appoint this party.

If you have more questions about how this works, consider discussing these options with the help of an experienced Pasadena estate planning law office.

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