Isha Kakkar, Esq.
Let's Talk About Conservatorships
What is a conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a court proceeding, usually initiated by family member or relative, to protect a person who cannot make financial or health care decision for themselves. By law, each person has their independent freedoms and rights, thus initiating conservatorship proceedings could result in the conservatee’s independence becoming limited. Once a conservatorship is established, financial decisions and personal care decisions shift from the conservatee to the conservator.
When is a conservatorship necessary?
Depending on the scenario, a conservatorship may be necessary due to medical issues such as lack of mental capacity or physical capacity as a result of an accident, for example. Sometimes age could be a factor where the elderly individual can no longer care for themselves as they once did.
What are the cons of a conservatorship proceeding?
Conservatorship proceedings require a lot of information and can end up being quite costly. Court fees, cost of preparing the necessary forms, attorney’s fees, etc. Further, even after the conservatorship is established, the court remains involved, increasing the costs. It’s also important to note that this entire proceeding is public, thus anyone can access court files and learn about the conservatee’s personal affairs. Furthermore, if the court finds the petitioner unfit to be a conservator, the court may appoint a conservator of its own. This conservator may have no relation to the conservatee whatsoever.
Can a conservatorship be avoided?
Yes, a conservatorship proceeding can be avoided if the correct estate planning documents are executed. As long as you or a loved one are able to communicate and comprehend, the proper powers of attorney can be put in place. To avoid a conservatorship of estate, a financial power of attorney would be necessary. And to avoid a conservatorship of person, a healthcare power of attorney would be necessary.
For more information or assistance on avoiding a conservatorship, contact the Law Office of Ishajeet Kakkar today.