When a legal arrangement is made in which one adult is appointed to assist in managing the affairs of another adult, it is a conservatorship. Sometimes, when a judge grants a conservatorship, it is useful at the time, but its usefulness is no longer valid once circumstances change. In this case, it is necessary to go through the process of removing a conservatorship if the situation meets a requirement to remove a conservator.
There are certain conditions that can warrant grounds for a judge to remove a conservator in California. For the most part, the following grounds for the removal of a conservator apply to the conservator’s ability to manage the conservatee’s estate. In the event a conservator is removed, a new one will be appointed. The conservatee, or one of their friends or family members, must file a petition requesting the removal of the conservator. There are many factors that might necessitate the removal of a conservatorship in the eyes of a California court.
One year following the appointment of a limited conservator, a court investigator will visit the conservatee and continue to visit every two years afterward. They may also visit the conservatee:
Upon visiting, the investigator will recommend whether the judge should continue the conservatorship.
If a conservator decides that they no longer want to or can no longer serve as a conservator, they can ask the court to allow them to resign. If the court accepts the resignation, it is better if there is a pre-selected successor for that conservator ready to take over the responsibility. Otherwise, the judge may ask the resigning conservator to help in locating a replacement. If there is no one, a public guardian will be named.
If the conservatee passes away, the conservator’s responsibilities cease. However, they are not over completely until the court discharges them. To start this process, upon the death of the conservatee, the conservator should file a Notice of the Conservatee’s Death with the court and mail or deliver a copy to anyone else required by law. The conservator must also file a final account of the actions taken regarding the conservatee’s well-being and financial affairs. Once the judge approves the final account, they will then discharge the conservator.
If the conservator of a limited conservatorship dies, the conservatorship ends unless a friend or relative petitions the court to appoint a successor conservator. In the case of a general conservatorship, the conservator will automatically be replaced. In either event, the person who is handling the affairs of the deceased conservator must complete the final duties of the conservator so that the deceased’s estate can be released from that responsibility.
A: The legalities and third-party influences that affect conservatorships often get complicated. When a conservator controls a conservatee’s money, the conservatee might find it difficult to take care of the necessary actions to end a conservatorship. Additionally, there are a lot of steps that must be taken to end a conservatorship, and these are often timely and detailed processes that involve the court system. It is important to put a lot of consideration into a decision to form a conservatorship.
A: A general conservatorship will last until it is terminated by a court order or when the conservatee dies. In the case of a limited conservatorship, it will end when the conservator dies. There are short-term conservatorships that can last for a temporary amount of time, such as 30 days, 60 days, or one year.
A: If a proposed conservatee has an attorney, that attorney can make an oral objection to the court as to why their client protests the conservatorship. This is a much easier and straightforward action when the protestor has hired a lawyer to represent them and speak on their behalf in court.
A: The conservator law is based on the foundation of a conservatorship being formed out of an absolute necessity. All other options that would be less restricting and less difficult to remove, and less intrusive into the conservatee’s affairs, must have been exhausted. It must be determined that these other options won’t work in the situation due to some circumstance that deems them ineligible for the specific case.
If you need help with the removal of a conservator, whether from your own or someone else’s conservatorship, Sweeney Probate Law can help you work through the removal and reappointment of a conservator. If you are a conservator wishing to be replaced, or you are planning for your conservatorship to end upon your passing or before, contact the probate professionals at Sweeney Probate Law. Whatever your situation is, we have likely had a client who faced a similar issue with their case before. We are experienced and knowledgeable in California conservatorship law and are prepared to answer your questions.