When a person can no longer adequately take care of his or her affairs and he or she does not already have a durable power of attorney appointing someone to handle those affairs, a conservator may be appointed by the court to help that person. There are generally two forms of conservatorships: a conservatorship of the person and a conservatorship of the estate. The conservatorship of the person gives the conservator (the person appointed by the court) the right to oversee general and personal matters for the conservatee (the person in need of the conservatorship). The conservatorship of the estate gives the conservator the right to manage the financial affairs of the conservatee. A judge can appoint a person to act as conservator for both the person and the estate if necessary.

A clear sign you need to petition for a conservatorship on a loved one is when you go to their bank or similar financial institution to try to do something for your loved one and the institution explains you do not have the power to act for your loved one. In particular, they might require “Letters” to prove you have the power to act. “Letters” means the Letters of Conservatorship a court issues to give the conservator the power to act on behalf of the conservatee. If any of these things happen to you, you need a conservatorship on your loved one. We can assist you with that.

The following persons can request the appointment of and nominate a conservator: (1) the person in need of help or proposed conservatee, (2) the proposed conservatee’s spouse or domestic partner, (3) a relative of the proposed conservatee, (4) any interested state or local entity, or (5) any other interested person or friend. The court must ultimately approve and appoint the conservator. Conservatorships can be general or limited in both scope and time depending on the specific needs of the conservatee. Once appointed, the conservator receives Letters of Conservatorship which evidence his or her right to act for and on behalf of the conservator within the scope approved by the court. The court continues to supervise the conservatorship after appointment of the conservator.

Our conservatorship services include:

File a petition to appoint you as the conservator;
Represent you in a contest over who should be appointed the conservator;
File an action if someone is taking advantage of your loved one (elder abuse);
Get you the power to set up a living trust for your loved one (a substituted judgment proceeding); or
Represent you if the present conservator is not doing a proper job, especially spending money on himself or herself.
When necessary, a conservatorship can be very beneficial for both the conservatee and his or her loved ones.

Note: if you are appointed the conservator, our fees normally come out of the conservatorship estate, not out of your pocket.

How Can I Find Out More?
To learn more about obtaining a conservatorship to allow you to care for a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us at (805) 482-2282, or e-mail us at