Conservatorship of Person


WHO CAN SERVE AS A CONSERVATOR

A conservator may be a relative or a friend. If there is no suitable relative or friend who is willing to serve, the conservator might be a “professional conservator” or a county agency called a “public conservator”.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONSERVATORSHIPS

1) PROBATE CONSERVATORSHIP (GENERAL)

These are set up for adults who can’t handle their own finances or care for themselves. These conservatees are often older people with limitations caused by aging, but they also may be younger people who have been seriously impaired as the result of an auto accident for instances. The general conservator has authority to take care of a broad range of the conservatee’s needs. The general conservator’s Letters won’t list all the many areas in which he or she is authorized to act but will specify only special powers or limits on that authority. If the proposed conservatee is suffering with Dementia, special powers are required to administer psychotropic medications and/or placement into a secured facility

2) PROBATE CONSERVATOR (LIMITED)

A limited conservator may be appointed for an adult with a developmental disability. Limited conservatorships are set up to assist developmentally disabled adults who are unable to provide for all their personal or financial needs. Because the conservatee’s growth and development have been impaired or delayed, a limited conservatorship is required to encourage further development wherever possible. A limited conservator’s duty is to help the limited conservatee develop maximum self-reliances and independence.

3) LPS COSNERVATORSHIP

An LPS conservatorship is for individuals who have been admitted to a behavioral health facility over and over again. It allows placement of an individual into an acute facility with very restrictive (locked) living arrangements and extended mental health treatment. This type of conservatorship is only for individuals who exhibit severe behavioral problems like Schizophrenia (51/50) or other individuals who are unable to provide for their own needs for food, clothing, or shelter and have exhibited behavior problems as a result of chronic alcoholism. An LPS Conservatorship can ONLY be initiated while the proposed conservatee is being held in a facility and their psychiatrist refers the proposed conservatee to the Behavioral Health Conservatorship Unit. A psychiatrist is not able to refer an individual for an LPS conservatorship while that individual is living in a home, they must be in the facility. An individual person can not request an LPS Conservatorship to place a person into a locked facility. Although a private citizen may be appointed as conservator of an existing LPS conservatorship, the appointment process must have been started by a local government agency, usually a county’s public guardian or public conservator.

CONSERVATORSHIP OF ESTATE

You WILL NOT need conservatorship of the estate if the conservatee’s only income is public assistance, like SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSA (Social Security) and/or the conservatee works and earns their own wages, but has no other assets or income. You WILL need conservatorship of the estate if the conservatee has other income or assets, such as an inheritance or a lawsuit settlement which is not in a special needs trust.

If the conservatee’s estate consists of more than $2000.00 per month (exclusive of public benefits) and the net value of property is more than $15,000.00 (exclusive of any residence), you need to purchase a bond to secure the estate. Before filing for conservatorship, look

into the prospect of qualifying for a bond and what the bond will cost you on an annual basis. It is just like an insurance policy.

CONSERVATEE’S RIGHTS

A person does not necessarily lose the right to take part in important decisions affecting their way of life when they become a conservatee. All conservatees have the right to be treated with understanding and respect, and to have their wishes considered. They have all basic human rights, including the right to be well cared for by the conservator.

The Conservatee generally keeps the right to:

Directly receive and control his or her salary; Make or change a will; Marry, unless a judge has determined he/she doesn’t have the capacity to do so; Receive personal mail; Receive visits from family and friends, unless a judge has ordered restrictions on a person’s visits or contact with the conservatee; Be represented by a lawyer; Ask a judge to change conservators; Ask a judge to end the conservatorship; Vote, unless a judge decides the conservatee isn’t capable of exercising this right; Control personal spending money, called an allowance, if the judge has authorized an allowance to the conservatee; Make his or her own medical decisions, unless a judge has taken away that right and given it to conservator; Enter into business transactions, to the extent reasonable to provide the necessaries of life to the conservatee or to his/her minor children; Engage in other activities the court expressly allows him/her to do, at the time of appointment 


Contact Lindsey Law, A.P.C at (909) 801-7388