You may have a loved one who is in immediate danger of harming themselves or others due to incapacitation. Typical case examples are when someone with schizophrenia, bipolar, or other serious mental illnesses are running their lives into the ground. Due to chemical imbalances, they may reject a power of attorney or not have the mental capacity to understand what they are signing.

It can be excruciating to help a loved one through these times, especially if they have harmed you, family, or friends in the process. However, you understand they are not themselves and can get back on track with a heavy hand pushing them in the right direction. You do not have to live in anxiety and fear of how they might damage themselves or someone else with an emergency conservatorship in place. It is one of many conservatorship options, and we want to walk you through what these are so you understand what your loved one needs.

Conservatorships & Guardianships

The legal language in California for conservatorships may be a little confusing, especially when your family member or friend requires immediate support. Unlike many other states, the protective legal process for an adult is called a conservatorship. But when a minor is involved, it is called a guardianship. They both serve the same purpose: to allow the court to appoint a person who can step in to manage medical, economic, and life decisions for someone unable to do so on their own.

The California Courts define a conservatorship as “a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person (called the “conservator”) to care for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for themselves or manage their finances.” Although the courts traditionally prioritize immediate family when appointing a conservator, it does not necessarily have to be a relative. It can be anyone like you who expresses concerns for someone else’s welfare.

Three Main Conservatorships

You can pursue a conservatorship with the California courts if your family member or friend is above 18. They could be an incapacitated elderly person or a young adult struggling with mental health or addiction. In either case, the law legislated conservatorships specifically to help them, violating their rights now so they can be free later. Sometimes, you will need the help of a judge and a conservatorship attorney to make them get better when they cannot make that choice for themselves.

There are three main conservatorships your loved one can receive during the official court hearing. These will include a conservator of their estate, a conservator of their person, or both to protect them in any circumstances.

General Conservatorship

This conservatorship type is most often used in cases if your loved one’s mental or physical abilities make them unable to handle daily tasks. Judges will hear these petitions in probate court if they deem them worthy of a conservator’s assistance.

Limited Conservatorship

Also presented in probate court, you can implement a limited conservatorship if your family member has a developmental disability. It can include individuals with autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or other issues that began before their eighteenth birthday. You need to establish this legal arrangement before they turn 18, so a conservator has decision-making power in their life to help them become independent.

LPS Conservatorship

In this type of situation, a conservator becomes responsible for overseeing the medical treatment for an adult conservatee who has extreme mental health issues. These conservatees are likely in a restrictive living situation such as a psychiatric hospital for their safety and the safety of others.

What Is An Emergency Conservatorship?

In California, when an incapacitated loved one is in severe danger of harming themselves or others, an emergency conservatorship can provide a swift legal remedy. This type of conservatorship is designed for urgent situations where immediate action is required to protect the individual. California law allows for a court hearing to be set up in as little as five days, during which a temporary conservator can be appointed to manage the urgent needs of your loved one.

Emergency conservatorships also serve as a precursor to establishing a full conservatorship. They allow you to file a petition and distribute copies of the necessary documents to all parties legally required to receive them. Managing this process, however, involves navigating complex legal terrain and meeting tight deadlines, which can be overwhelming if handled alone.

At The Legacy Lawyers, our experienced legal team specializes in guiding families through the intricacies of California conservatorship law with compassion and efficiency. Our attorneys can help you understand your options, prepare and file the necessary paperwork, and represent you at court hearings. With our support, you can ensure that your loved one receives the protection they need without unnecessary delays or legal hurdles.

How to Obtain an Emergency Conservatorship

If you determine that establishing a conservatorship is essential for the welfare of a family member and that the situation qualifies as an emergency, it’s crucial to understand how the process works under California law. An emergency conservatorship in California is defined by the legal code as necessary when there’s a situation likely to result in substantial harm to the proposed conservatee’s health, safety, or welfare.

To obtain an emergency conservatorship in California, here are the key steps and requirements you must follow:

  1. Proof of Emergency: The person petitioning for the emergency conservatorship must demonstrate that an immediate crisis is occurring, posing significant risk to the proposed conservatee.
  2. Notification: It’s mandatory to provide all legally involved parties with proper notice about the conservatorship proceedings. This ensures that the process is transparent and that all interested parties are informed and have the opportunity to participate or contest.
  3. Capability to Care: The prospective conservator must demonstrate the ability to provide adequate care for the proposed conservatee, addressing their specific health, safety, and welfare needs during the emergency period.

Navigating these requirements can be complex and demanding, particularly under the pressure of an emergency situation. This is why having the support of a seasoned legal team like The Legacy Lawyers is invaluable. Our attorneys specialize in California conservatorship law and can help expedite the process by efficiently handling the petition, ensuring all legal notifications are correctly issued, and demonstrating to the court that the proposed conservator is fully capable of managing the conservatee’s immediate needs. With professional legal assistance, you can secure the necessary protection for your loved one swiftly and effectively.

Legal Support for Emergency Conservatorships in California

Clearly, the process of conservatorships is complex and time-consuming. It can be difficult to manage all the requirements whether you are the conservator or the individual who needs support. The necessary paperwork with the mandatory deadlines can be a hassle, and it can be overwhelming. You don’t have to go at it alone. At Legacy Lawyers, our attorneys are skilled in the area of emergency conservatorships. We have decades of combined experience as California conservatorship lawyers.

If you believe that someone’s well-being is at risk, you may want to consider a conservatorship. We can assist you in filing a petition with the court to appoint an emergency conservator to make financial and healthcare decisions on the family member’s behalf to protect and support them. You can easily schedule a consultation by calling our law offices at (800) 840-1998. We would welcome you to meet in one of our offices in Torrance, Laguna Hills, or Irvine. Or we will set up a virtual meeting with you at your convenience no matter where you are located.