A conservatorship is a matter that is brought before a court wherein the judge appoints a conservator to care for another adult and/or his or her finances.
If you would like to read about the duties of a conservator, please click here.
In probate court, a judge can appoint a conservator of the person, the estate, or both. A conservator of the person helps to care for and protect a person who cannot do so themselves. The conservator will need to make sure that the convservatee has food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and any other personal needs. A conservator of the estate handles the financial matters of the conservatee. If you are appointed one of these, for example the estate, that does not automatically make you the conservator of the person.
There are a number of people who can file a conservatorship; however, the order of preference is spouse/domestic partner, adult child, parent, sibling, other person appointed by the court and permitted under state law, or the public guardian.
Proper estate planning, in advance of a need for a conservatorship, can be very helpful and save time and resources. However, sometimes the requisite planning has not been done.
If you believe you may need to obtain a conservatorship over a family member or loved one, an attorney can help you discuss if there are any possible alternatives. An attorney may also assist you with preparing and filing the requisite pleadings if a conservatorship is in fact needed.