Conservatorships are put into place by a judge appointing a guardian or a protector to a conservatee who has been deemed unfit to care for himself or herself. This may be due to age, mental incapacities, or physical limitations. The appointed guardian can manage both the life and financial affairs of the conservatee.
A presently controversial conservatorship case is Britney Spears’s conservatorship battle. The star recently came forth regarding her “abusive” conservatorship with her father and has now made a public court appearance, claiming she has had little to no control over her personal and financial life for the past 13 years. The star states her guardian(s) have limited everything in her life, ranging from essential self-care to proper rest between tours. The conservators are accused of even mandating the medicine she takes, including her birth control. This abuse of conservatorship can be avoided using existing tactics to help protect an individual should he or she need a guardian.
Estate planning allows a conservatee the opportunity to express both who will make decisions upon incapacity and how it will be decided/who will decide whether if he or she is incapacitated. Documents define the term incapacity based on a person’s health condition or legal disability. Legal disabilities (prohibitions) and mental and physical health conditions (inabilities) are used to determine incapacity and include the inability to
· Provide properly for one’s own essential needs, such as physical health, food, clothing, and shelter
· Extensively manage one’s financial resources, such as resisting fraud and undoing fraudulent influence
Transfer of Authority
When implementing transfers of authority, one or two physicians (independent of each other) will issue “certificate(s) of incapacity”. To determine and support incapacity, one or more credible affirmations may be stated by a committee or persons with disabilities close friend or relative. To be lawfully active, a certificate must declare that the incapacity standard established in the estate planning document is fulfilled. Next, a successor trustee will sign a declaration of a successor trustee. This states that the standards used in the process were factual and incorporate the certificates as attachments. Certificates are then grouped with the powers of attorney and advanced health care directives to be provided to a third party.
Implementing advance health care directives, living trusts, and powers of attorney can help evade conservatorship. Conservatorship of an incapacitated person can be comparable to the probate of a decedent’s estate. To successfully probate an estate, you have to be attentive to details and have a methodical approach to the steps involved. That is the reason why it would be best to have law firms like Kania Law Office guide you through the process. This process is time-consuming and involves expensive court proceedings. The litigation process can include family members to determine if a conservatorship is necessary. If so, who should be appointed conservator and what powers are they granted. The conservator powers granted over the conservatee may include custody matters, health care, help with finances, legal affairs, and property.
To give an example, after a head injury, the victim may need an appointed guardian to help care for his or her financial, mental, and physical well-being. If the conservatee does not have any documents prepared, he or she may end up with an undesirable guardian. If preparations were established beforehand, the conservatee should ideally be given a guardian that they felt would best fulfill his or her wishes.