California law allows certain parties to apply for conservatorship depending on certain factors. However, because of the bonding requirements, most people require the services of an Orange County conservatorship attorney to help them through the process. The guidelines are set up in a manner to protect the interests of the person who you will act as conservator for, typically called the conservatee.
Hiring a Conservatorship Lawyer
The laws are very stringent regarding who may apply to be a conservator. Some of the key factors you must be aware of include who conservatorship petitions may be lodged by:
- Relatives – any relative who is concerned about the ability of someone to care for their own needs may petition
- Public officials – may petition for a conservator if they are concerned about a person’s safety
- Nonprofit agencies – social services departments often request an appointment due to a person neglecting their own care
It is important to note that any of these petitioners may also request they be appointed as a conservator and in some cases, petition may be filed by a professional conservator.
What you need to know about the application process
We have helped many clients with many conservatorship petitions. Under the law, the petition must provide proof to the court that the proposed conservatee cannot care for themselves. Needs such as meal preparation, dressing or maintaining a clean home that cannot be met by the conservatee may be assigned to a conservator.
Additional reasons for petition could be financial: In the event there is clear evidence the conservatee is unable to manage their own finances, a conservatorship may also be recommended. Financial “capability” may mean they are unable to balance their checkbooks, may be victimized financially or the potential they may be influenced by a third party to spend money unwisely.
Petitioners must also prove that other potential methods of aiding a person are not feasible including powers of attorney, trusts or estate management services.
Understanding the LPS conservatorship
There is an important distinction between a regular conservatorship and an LPS (Lanterman-Petris-Short Act). The LPS are governed by the California Welfare and Institutions Code and are designed for persons who are disabled; specifically those who suffer mental disorders or who have been diagnosed as a chronic alcoholic. It is not meant for basic drug addiction, alcohol addiction or for those who suffer mental impairments associated with autism.
If a loved one is having dififculty managing on their own, contact Sarah A. Kirland Esq, Inc. for help. We know the conservatorship laws of California and we can help you through the process.