If you have a family member or friend who has been under a conservatorship, you understand it is an invasive but necessary legal arrangement. The court of law will appoint a conservator if they cannot make their own decisions about their lifestyle and finances. A conservator’s job is to assist the conservatee with their person and estate while preserving civil rights and benefiting them.
Unfortunately, some conservators have taken advantage of disabled, elderly, or mentally ill individuals who are in a vulnerable position. You should never tolerate conservatorship abuse, and judges will remove the evil conservator or terminate the conservatorship to protect the individual.
Perhaps the most famous example is the recent Brittnay Spears case. But you don’t have to be in the public eye or famous to suffer from this legal harassment. The elderly, adults with developmental disabilities, and physically injured individuals could all be victims of conservatorship abuse.
You may have adequate reason to take legal action against a conservator if you are worried they are not caring for your loved one.
What is a Conservatorship?
When the judge appoints a person to assist your family member or friend with money management and daily care for themselves, they are under a conservatorship. Your local California probate court appoints a conservator to protect the conservatee (or the incapacitated adult).
The conservator has the authority to manage the conservatees personal affairs, medical decisions, living situations, and financial matters in most cases. A family member, friend, relative, or government work are all potential conservators for your loved one.
Conservatorships versus Power of Attorney
You may confuse a conservatorship with a power of attorney, but both legal processes appoint another person to act on behalf of another individual. The main difference is the way the person is chosen.
A court will appoint a conservator when your loved one is mentally or physically incapacitated and unable to make day-to-day decisions for themselves. With a power of attorney, the adult has a sound mind and authorizes the legal authority for another person to make decisions in their stead.
A conservatorship gives another person great power. And with this control comes great responsibility. However, not all conservators measure up to their commitment.
Signs of Conservatorship Abuses
Sadly, some conservators will act unethically on behalf of your loved one and abuse them in various forms. It is common to hear about physical abuse, ranging from beatings to bedsores as a result of neglect.
But a conservatee entrenched in an abusive conservatorship for many years can also have missed medical appointments, verbal abuse, and a lack of mobility and freedoms. Conservatorship abuse cases are wide-ranging and include many different scenarios, so it is wise to speak with an experienced probate attorney to ensure you have a valid petition.
You may not understand or not hear on the media as often is that financial and elder abuse are other notorious examples of this legal mistreatment.
Conservators are in a position to access your family member or friend’s financial affairs. Regretfully, they can even be as bold as stealing or redirecting funds away from those they are supposed to care for.
You should watch out for signs of financial abuse for a conservatee like unexpected money withdrawals or unusual changes in their bank accounts. In addition, forged financial documents, unpaid bills, sudden financial decisions with estate plans and wills, and unexplained losses with money and property are also viable.
If you believe your loved one is a victim of financial exploitation via a conservator in Los Angeles, seek the guidance of an experienced lawyer to petition the court.
We may become unable to communicate our thoughts, wishes, and fears to others as we grow older.
That contributes to the situation where your elderly family member may suffer from conservatorship abuse since they cannot reach out for help. Incapacitated adults that are elders are especially prone to neglect, abandonment, mental or physical abuse, and deprivation of proper health care.
Again, you should seek a conservatorship attorney in your California county to assist. Concrete proof is necessary to prove an abusive conservator guilty, and a law expert can help you with that.
Legal Support for Conservatorship Abuse
If you suspect your relative is the victim of abuse by a conservator, you must bring your concerns to a court’s attention. Our skilled conservatorship attorneys are always available to hear about your loved one’s challenging situation and evaluate which legal route will result in the best possible outcome.
No matter how complicated your legal circumstances are, we can answer all of your questions. We would be privileged to have the opportunity to gain your trust and assist your loved one in moving forward.
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 your location.