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Sunday, November 6, 2011

What is a Conservatorship?

Conservatorships are judicial processes by which a probate court judge appoints a responsible person to serve as the conservator of anther adult. It is also known as a living probate. Just about anyone, including the proposed conservatee, can file a petition for conservatorship. Conservators are appointed according to priority as follows: 1.) spouse; 2.) adult child, 3.) parent, 4.) sibling, 5.) any other interested person, and 6.) the public guardian. If the person with highest priority declines to act, he or she can nominate another. If all qualified family members and friends refuse to serve, the court will likely appoint a private professional fiduciary. All conservators are entitled to reasonable fees for their services and are paid from the conservator’s estate. Fees are paid, however, only after fee statements have been reviewed and approved by the probate court judge.

The scope of a conservator's power is separated into two parts, the "person" and the "estate." Power over the "person" includes authority to make decisions regarding day to day activities, such as where a conservatee lives, what they do, how they do it and who they visit. Power over the "estate" includes authority to make decisions about the conservatee's assets, such as managing rental property, collecting income, paying bills and investing. The scope of a conservator’s powers may include both the "person" and "estate" or they may be limited to one or the other.
Being involved in a conservatorship action can be very emotionally draining. If you are faced with the prospect of a conservatorship, contact Raxter Law for a free consultation, so we can dicusss all of your options.  Call (951) 226-5294.  

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