What is a probate conservatorship?
A probate conservatorship provides a way to manage property and/or provide for the personal care needs of the adult who is disabled and the elderly. The probate conservatorship is usually initiated by someone close to the person, such as a family member, physician, neighbor, friend, hospital or other institutional staff member. The need for a conservatorship is usually determined by observing behavioral changes, such as a decline in mental and/or physical condition affecting the ability to accomplish normal day-to-day activities.
A probate conservatorship may be of the person only, or estate only, or person and estate combined. A probate conservator does not have the authority to place his/her conservatee in a psychiatric treatment facility.
A probate conservatorship remains in effect indefinitely, usually until the conservatee can show that he or she is again capable of handling his/her own affairs appropriately, or until a suitable alternative such as a representative payee is found. Prospective probate cases are referred to the Public Guardian Office by Adult Protective Services or the Superior Court.