Conservatorship & Guardianship

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Assisting Clients with Conservatorship and Guardianship Appointments in Monterey Area Probate Court

Taking care of adults and managing estates through probate arrangements for a conservator

If you or a loved one wishes to establish a conservatorship or guardianship agreement, our attorneys at the Law Office of Barbara J. May have the necessary knowledge and experience to make sure your requests are handled successfully. We look at your entire situation and collaborate with you to make sure the plan we establish works for you both in the present and years down the road. These are decisions that will have a real impact on your life, so it's important to seek help today from a law firm you can trust.

What is a conservator?

A conservator may be appointed in the following situations:

Conservator of the person – If an adult cannot care for and protect him or herself, the court may appoint a conservator of the person. Food, clothing, shelter and healthcare are primary concerns of the person acting as conservator.

Conservator of the estate – Paying bills, collecting income, protecting assets, budgeting responsibly and otherwise managing financial affairs is the role of a person appointed as conservator of the estate.

A conservatorship proceeding is commenced when someone files a petition in court for a conservator to be appointed. The person initiating the proceeding may be a spouse, relative or friend, even the person at issue if he or she recognizes an inability to continue managing affairs. State and local agencies can also file a petition seeking the appointment of a conservator. A judge has discretion to make an appointment in the best interest of the conservatee, but is guided by the legal preference that the spouse, adult child or parent be appointed, in that order.

If you are concerned that a person you disapprove of may be appointed as conservator to manage your affairs, there are steps you can take to prevent it. One way is to execute a power of attorney granting an individual of your choice the ability to manage your healthcare, finances and other affairs, should you be unable to do so yourself.

A legal guardian can take care of children and minors who need care and protection

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A legal guardian is someone other than a child’s parent who is appointed by a court to have custody of the child, manage the child’s financial affairs or both, as follows:

Guardianship of the person – Provides a non-parent adult the same responsibilities that a parent would have to care for a child, including responsibility for food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education and physical and emotional growth

Guardianship of the estate – Managing and investing a child’s money, assets and property is the responsibility of the guardian of a child’s estate. A non-parent guardian of the estate is only needed if a parent is unable to fulfill the role and the child has inherited or owns substantial property or money

As with conservatorships, court papers must be filed to become a legal guardian. A court investigator will look into the situation and prepare a report. The judge will consider the report as part of a legal hearing to determine whether to appoint the legal guardianship being sought.

If you are seeking to become a conservator or guardian, it is best to use a lawyer experienced in dealing with the probate court and estate litigation. At the Law Office of Barbara J. May, we have substantial experience in probate court and can represent your interests in connection with conservatorship or guardianship proceedings.

Contact a Monterey area attorney for guardianship and conservatorship assistance in local probate courts

At the Law Office of Barbara J. May, we handle family law issues, including appointments of guardians for children and conservators for adults. We are located in downtown Monterey, across from the Monterey Sports Center. Our office hours are 9-5 Monday-Friday with special hours by appointment. We offer a reduced-fee initial consultation. Call us today at 831.649.1253