What are your options to protect your loved ones!
First and foremost, are you in the process of someone petitioning for Conservatorship? Depending on where you are in the process, it will depend on your strategy to protect your loved one.
A Conservatorship is a court-ordered process to select a Conservator to manage and protect the Conservatee. There are different types of Conservatorships, so based on the level of need will determine the kind of Conservatorship.
When is a Conservatorship Necessary
A Conservatorship is necessary when your loved one (protected person | Conservatee) can no longer manage their finances or their appropriate daily life activities.
Can a Conservatorship be Contested?
Yes, a Conservatorship is contestable, i.e., can fight against it. Probably the best time to act is to object to the petition at the very beginning of the process. A Conservatorship attorney will help guide you through the complex litigation process.
How Can You Tell If Your Loved One is Abused?
If there is a Conservator, you can find out if they are fully transparent on how they are managing the finances, the care, etc., of the Conservatee. You see, there should be an annual report completed by the Conservators describing financial management, i.e., investments, expense payouts, family gifting, and on-and-on.
One conduct, for example, that the Conservator should avoid is to refrain from making loans or gifts of estate property, except as authorized by the court after full disclosure. If you have first-hand knowledge that proceeds from the estate are used for the non-disclosed self-dealing mean, there may be an argument to show a breach in fiduciary duty.
How to Contest (Fight) Conservatorship Abuses in California
If you feel your loved one (protected person) is in jeopardy to lose their finances, health, etc., it’s crucial to know the legal rights of the Conservatee.
Takeaway: You will be looking for evidence of self-dealing.
First, find a conservatorship attorney who has the knowledge and has proven court time. You want to make sure you ask the attorney ever fought for the rights of a Conservatee.
Once you find an attorney, you will want to gather all the information that the Conservator is guided by in Rule 7.1059.
Are you the Conservatee and feel you no longer need a Conservator to manage your finances, etc.?
One of the most popular reasons to dispute a conservatorship is because the Conservatee feels they no longer need a Conservator. An example could be that whatever condition was ailing, the Conservatee is better and can be proven by a doctor, etc. If you are the Conservatee, you may file a petition to terminate.
How to Petition to Terminate or End a Conservatorship
If you are the Conservatee, you will need to have proof that you are no longer incapacitated and able to make your own financial and life decisions.
Below are steps, tips, and ideas, but once again, due to the slippery slope of litigation, you will want to seek counsel.
Here is the list:
- Retain a Conservatorship attorney to help you prepare the petition to terminate. See Chapter 3. Termination [1860-1865]
- You need to demonstrate you meet all your needs to manage finances, basics like food, clothing, shelter, and you can pay your bills and manage your financial affairs.
- Recognize that all costs to dispute, including your defense, is payable by your estate. Conservatees pay for both the Conservator’s cost and their own cost.
- Recognize that if they Conservator has been self-dealing, you can sue them civilly and recoup potentially lost assets.
To further ad, once you and your attorney file a petition, the court may schedule a hearing. For instance, if you were incapacitated, the judge will want to verify the basis for the termination.
What should you do if the Conservatorship is Contested?
Well, if you are the Conservator, it is essential to know where you stand. Your fiduciary duty is to the Conservatee.
Here are a few necessary checks to do to ensure you stand on the right side of the courts:
- Paying and managing charges for maintenance, support, and education;
- Managing the estate(s), collecting debts.
- Investing funds
- Keeping accurate bookkeeping.
If you have been doing your fiduciary responsibility, and maintaining your standards of conduct, you can utilize the funds of the estate to find your conservatorship attorney.