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How long do California conservatorships last?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Uncategorized

Conservatorships help to protect people who are particularly vulnerable. The courts in California can name another competent adult to manage the finances and resources of someone who cannot handle their fiscal responsibilities on their own.

Some people refer to conservatorship as guardianship of an estate. It is effectively a legal arrangement in which one adult handles the finances of another and assumes control over their property. They have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the vulnerable adult whose finances they oversee.

Securing a conservatorship requires that someone establish the inability of another adult to manage their financial affairs. If the courts agree that the conservatorship is necessary for the protection of a vulnerable adult, they can formally empower one adult to manage the finances of another.

With the right effort, conservatorships can last indefinitely

In some cases, individuals who are subject to conservatorships eventually improve. Someone in a coma or struggling with mental health challenges might eventually reach a point where their health once again allows them to manage their own finances.

Typically, a conservatorship can end when the person in need of outside support no longer requires regular assistance to manage their finances. In some cases, families proactively terminate a conservatorship after an individual’s health improves. Other times, they simply wait for the conservatorship to lose its authority.

Under current California practices, conservatorships typically only last for a year. It is necessary to file renewal paperwork annually to maintain the conservatorship. The failure to do so can end the conservatorship and allow someone to regain control over their own resources while they are still incapable of properly managing them.

Those acting as conservators need to understand this rule so that they can maintain their authority if necessary. Unless a conservator consistently renews their authority, a vulnerable adult could eventually be at risk of losing the resources on which they depend or facing other financial setbacks due to their inability to manage their own finances.

Both securing and renewing conservatorships can be challenging for individuals worried about the well-being of vulnerable family members. Those who understand the rules for conservatorships can more effectively support people who cannot manage their own finances independently.