There are a number of reasons families or individuals might look into establishing a conservatorship. Oftentimes, it’s to protect or help a loved one that may be sick, incapacitated, or in trouble. Essentially, a conservatorship is a way for someone to assume legal guardianship over an adult and care for their finances, health, and assets.
A conservatorship is established through a court proceeding, during which a judge determines who should take over for the conservatee. Under this structure, the conservator has legal authority over certain aspects of the conservatee’s life. The conservator manages specific areas assigned within the scope of the conservatorship; this can be narrow or broad.
There are several different versions of a conservatorship that are used to accomplish various goals. A financial conservatorship gives a conservator the ability to manage the conservatee’s assets, but not their personal life. On the other hand, a physical conservatorship gives the conservator the authority to choose where the conservatee lives and how they receive healthcare.
Recently, pop icon Brittany Spears has made headlines for her conservatorship with her father Jamie Spears. The singer’s life has been controlled by a court-ordered conservatorship since 2008, following her public breakdown. Her lawyer has asked a judge to permanently remove the pop star’s father from his role overseeing her personal affairs.
While most conservatorships aren’t as high profile as Brittany Spears’, they are set up with the same initial intentions. A conservatorship is intended to fulfill the needs of the conservatee, not the interests of the conservator. That’s why a conservator will often consult with doctors or social workers before making big decisions. The point of the conservatorship is to keep the conservatee healthy and safe.
Do you have more questions about conservatorships?
At Marcia L. Campbell, CPA we act as trusted professional fiduciaries for many of our clients. As licensed professionals, we understand the importance of knowing that your trust, estate, or conservatorship is being managed legally, ethically, and accurately. We act as caring and objective fiduciaries and client advocates.
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