Conservatorships

Your family member is suffering from progressive dementia, or has recently had a stroke. Health care workers are refusing to discuss matters with you for "privacy" reasons. No one seems to be in a position to make important decisions. Property needs to be managed and protected. Documents need to be signed and bank accounts accessed. You need to arrange for a more appropriate living situation or facility, and secure appropriate care. How do you manage the affairs of someone no longer able to do this for themselves?

 

LIMITED CONSERVATORSHIPS

A LIMITED CONSERVATORSHIP IS A SPECIAL TYPE OF CONSERVATORSHIP FOR ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES.

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What is meant by “Limited?” The State of California has a stated policy to encourage as much independence of people with developmental disabilities as much as possible. Rather than the broad grant of authority in a standard conservatorship (actually referred to as a “probate conservatorship”), a limited conservator’s authority is divided into seven separate categories. Each of these must be specifically addressed, and the need for each individually established. If all seven were granted, the authority of the limited conservator would be comparable to a general probate conservator. If, however, a developmentally disabled individual who is fairly high functioning was found to be able to make their own educational and social contact decisions, for example, they would retain the right to do so. The conservator’s power in that case would be “limited” to the remaining five powers. A Person with developmental disability who is significantly disabled can be eligible for a general conservatorship. Notwithstanding, in most cases families successfully request and are granted all 7 powers, resulting in a robust set powers for the parents or other persons petitioning to be the Limited Conservator.

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