What is a Conservatorship and What is a Guardianship?
These two roles function similarly but oversee different areas in your life. A conservator is someone who manages your financial affairs and your estate after a judge deems you as incapacitated. A guardian is someone who manages your personal affairs after a judge finds you incapacitated. When a judge finds you to be “incapacitated,” it means that you have mental or physical limitations, or your age is too great for you to be making sound decisions for your life.
How is it Decided That I Need a Conservator or a Guardian?
A petition is filed requesting that the court assign a guardian or a conservator, or both, to you. The people who can make this request can be either yourself, someone who is taking care of you, a facility, the department of health and resources, or a guardian or conservator you have in place now. When the petition is filed, there is a $90 fee that comes with it. A judge then reviews your case and makes the final decision on whether or not you need a conservator or a guardian.
This determination is made by looking at a few different characterizations about yourself. If the judge finds that you cannot mentally handle the tasks of caring for your health, care, safety, or financial affairs, you are considered a “protected person” and you are assigned a conservator, a guardian, or both. If you live in California, there are two different conservators that could be assigned to you: an LPS conservatorship or a Probate conservatorship.
Can I Go to the Hearings to Defend Myself?
If a petition has been filed for you and you feel it has been filed falsely or you do not believe you need a guardian or conservator, you can go to the hearings to defend yourself. You are able to bring legal counsel with you or legal counsel will be provided to you at these hearings.
Your attorney can help determine if you are in need of a guardian, what responsibilities your guardian would be in charge of should you need a guardian, making sure that you get the best guardian you can, and making sure that your living situation is the best for everyone involved.
Your attorney is there to make sure that you end up happy with the situation as much as possible, and that the situation is the best as possible. You also get to voice your preferences so that the situation works out for the best. The whole process would need to be repeated if issues arose from the situation of who is your guardian/conservator, so it’s best to have the right pairing made the first time.
Contacting a California General Counsel Lawyer
If you are in need of a lawyer to help you through the process of choosing a guardian or conservator, contact Leiva Law Firm today. We have California general counsel lawyers here to help you decide what you think will be best for you and to make sure you end up happy and feel secure. Call us today at (818) – 703 – 1777.