Avoiding the Ultimate Nightmare If You Can’t Take Care of Yourself

The Nightmare of A Conservatorship

A Conservatorship is a legal proceeding where a judge appoints a responsible person to care for another adult. 

Let’s assume the unthinkable happens — You suffer a stroke. You’re rushed to the hospital and the doctor declares you unable and unfit to manage your finances and perform activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, eating). Somebody needs to help you out and be the legal “guardian” over you. 

We then need to file something called a conservatorship. A conservatorship is nothing more than an adult guardianship. Just like a guardianship for children, this is a guardianship for adults. The point of this is to get someone in control over you.

When you file for a conservatorship, you are filing a lawsuit in the probate courts saying that you need to be in control of someone else’s affairs. There’s a whole process involved. 

A lot of people might say, “Well, I have a wife, or a husband, and my wife/husband is going to take care of me. Why do I need to do a conservatorship? 

Why Is This Necessary?

A conservatorship is necessary because the spouse usually cannot sell, mortgage or do many other financial actions without the signature of a spouse. The spouse cannot legally sign their name because they do not understand what is going on.  

Some people have assets titled only in the name of one spouse. You are not legally allowed to sign his name without a conservatorship in place or a power of attorney. 

As a well spouse, you could easily write checks on your own bank account, but if something is jointly held, for instance in order to sell let’s say a home, you can’t just sign it by yourself. You need your spouse’s signature.

Whoever wants to control the affairs of the other, would need to go to a court proceeding called the conservatorship, get “power” over that person, and follow the probate law to effectively obtain control over someone else.

 So, what’s so bad about it? Why is Conservatorship a problem? 

Well, it’s a nightmare.

Want to avoid the nightmare of dealing with a conservatorship process. Find out how by scheduling a strategy session today!

First of all, it’s humiliating and time-consuming. You, a now incapacitated individual, will be dragged into court in front of the public and show the judge that you’re unable and unfit to manage your own affairs. 

In addition, all of your assets become public record!

Everybody can look at public records. They can find your house, your properties, your bank accounts, the account information, and the amount. 

In addition, the Court is in control. You want to buy? sell? take out a mortgage on your property? Guess what that means? You will have to petition the court and ask for permission. Let’s hope for your sake, another family member does not object to this! Court battles result in a lot of wasted time and money! There goes your inheritance…

Petitioning the court is not a small task. It takes a long time just to get in front of the court. If you file a petition now, you won’t see a judge for 70 days in Los Angeles County. If anything was not filed properly on your documents, you would have to wait another month or two, just to fix those issues.

Expenses Involved In A Conservatorship

A conservatorship has many expenses: 

  1. Filing Fees – Filing anything with the court costs money. 
  2. Court Fees – You will need to pay the Court for initiating this Conservatorship
  3. Bond Fees – You will need to get insurance when you take control over someone else’s money (so that you don’t take a trip to another country and never return!)
  4. Attorney Fees 
    1. Attorney initiating the proceeding 
    2. Attorney who counters the attorney initiating the proceeding
    3. PVP attorney – The Court appoints an attorney for the incapacitated person
  5. Conservator Fees – the person in charge of you can get paid for his or her services 
  6. Accounting Fees – you need yearly accountings of Conservatorships 

As the person who is under a conservatorship, you are paying all the bills involved in the process. Yes, the incapacitated person is paying all the above bills. 

Remember, the PVP appointed attorney has never met you and doesn’t know anything about you or your family dynamics, but he or she was appointed to look out for your best interest and make sure the people who are fighting for control have your best interests in mind.

If anybody else wants control over your affairs–the children, the nephews, the uncles, or the siblings– they have their own attorney. 

Whoever wins will get their fees paid by you!

Is that something that you intended to happen? 

These processes can easily amount up to $10,000/a year, as you have to provide for accounting, you have to provide an inventory of all the assets, and you have to go to court for every single thing. What we usually see are expenses of about $10,000 a year.

If family members are fighting for control, you can easily quadruple those fees. That’s $40,000, for a fight over conservatorship. 

Want to avoid the nightmare of dealing with a conservatorship process. Find out how by scheduling a strategy session today!