Los Angeles Estate Planning
A conservatorship is an court-supervised, legal relationship between two adults, one who is determined to be mentally disabled and the other designated to make certain decisions on that person's behalf. Conservatorships are intended to protect the mentally disabled from his or her lack of ability to make decisions in his or her best interest and from the abuse of others.

For example, a widow who has advanced Alzheimer's disease and no longer can remember how to pay her bills or attend to her personal care is vulnerable to various, critical problems. In order to provide sufficient care and protection for her, her adult son may need to obtain the legal authority to make significant decisions for her, such as where she lives or how her money is spent. If the conservatorship were approved, the widow would be called the "Conservatee" and the son would be called the "Conservator".

The type of conservatorship described above is called a general probate conservatorship. These general probate conservatorships are usually established for the elderly who, due to dementia or Alzheimer's, are unable to care for themselves. These are typically the most common type of conservatorship before the court. There are two others types of conservatorships that are defined in California law, LPS (Lanterman-Petris-Short) Conservatorships, and Limited Conservatorships.

LPS Conservatorship are commonly referred to as mental health conservatorships. These types of conservatorships are established for individuals who have serious mental health issues (e.g. schizophrenia/major depressive disorder/etc.), cannot take care of there own food/clothing/shelter, and are a danger to themselves or others. LPS conservatorships are one year in duration and require the conservatee to be placed in a locked facility.

Limited conservatorships are established for individuals who were developmentally disabled prior to turning age 18. This type of conservatorship is often established by parents of children who were either born developmentally disabled or acquired a mental disability prior to reaching the age of majority.

Each of these types of conservatorships are very specific and require an attorney who has specific expertise in this area of law. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions regarding either LPS or Limited Conservatorships.

General Probate Conservatorships, LPS conservatorships, and Limited Conservatorships each have their own specific requirements. All three, however, share common sub-groups: conservatorships over the person and conservatorships over the estate. A conservatorship over the person is applicable when the disabled person lacks the capacity to take care of their essential needs, such as food, clothing, housing, or healthcare. A conservatorship over the estate is applicable when the disabled person lacks the capacity to take care of their finances or assets. Some conservatees will require a conservator of the person, some will require a conservator of the estate, and some conservatees will require both.

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