What is a Conservatorship?

Unfortunately, there are instances where a family member or loved one might be compromised physically and mentally and unable to make decisions for themselves.

During such times of impairment, any financial affairs needing attention can be handled through a conservatorship.

A CONSERVATORSHIP is: A court proceeding to appoint a manager for the financial affairs or the personal care of one who is either physically or mentally unable to handle either or both.

There are two parties that the judge or court names during the conservatorship court proceeding: the conservator and the conservatee.

The CONSERVATOR is: A person (or an organization) appointed by the court to protect and manage the financial affairs and/or personal care of a conservatee.

The CONSERVATEE is: A person considered by the court to be incapable of protecting and managing their personal care or financial affairs, or both. And, for whom the court has appointed a conservator.

There are different types of conservatorships: A General Conservatorship and a Limited Conservatorship. Within those two broad categories, there is a Temporary Conservatorship, which may be set in place while the General Conservatorship is pursued. Temporary Conservatorships have specific time periods, usually from 30 to 60 days.

A general conservatorship lasts as long as the conservatee’s life unless otherwise specified. If, for instance, your family member is able to return to a state of normalcy, the conservatorship can be terminated.


The steps to obtaining a conservatorship: There are five steps to obtaining a conservatorship.

1. The petition – will include reasons explaining why the conservatorship is necessary and information about the suggested conservator, the possible conservatee, relatives, and the petitioner (the one filing the petition).

2. Informing the conservatee – must be done by delivering a citation (a court form) and a copy of the petition to the possible conservatee.

3. Informing the conservatee’s relatives – can be accomplished by mailing a copy of the petition and a written notice of the court hearing to the conservatee’s spouse or partner and close relatives.

4. Investigation by the court – will be done through a neutral court investigator to acquire information about how the conservatorship would benefit the conservatee.

5. Court hearing & date – is set by the judge after ensuring the parties have been notified. He or she will also decide if an attorney needs to be present. The conservatee should be there unless excused for illness. If the conservatorship is granted, the court files an order to appoint the conservator and issues Letters of Conservatorship giving the conservator authority to make decisions on behalf of the conservatee.


     In California, the court issues a Conservatorship of the Estate or a Conservatorship of the Person. A Conservatorship of the Estate is the same as a conservatorship. The Conservatorship of the Person requires the conservator to handle the proper food, shelter, clothing, and health care for the conservatee. It also allows the conservator to handle the conservatee’s finances, such as paying bills and housing expenses and managing the conservatee’s investments including selling real estate and handling taxes. .

     Having a conservatorship is a safety measure for the conservatee and their family. The court system is purposefully complicated if only to make sure the proper people are handling the estate with the conservatee’s interest—not theirs—in mind. .

     When it comes to the sale of real property in Los Angeles and Orange county and a Conservator is involved, see our Selling Property During Conservatorships. .

     In addition to helping estates sell real estate during probate and trust administration here in Los Angeles and Orange County, we’ve helped multiple conservators manage properties and sell homes under conservatorship. It’s best to follow the state’s rules and regulations for all items relating to trusts, probates, and conservatorships to ensure the home and property sales go through without any hitches. See more info on our Selling Property during Conservatorships. .

     As always, contact us here if you have any questions about real estate, probate real estate, or trust real estate properties, especially in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in California. .


DISCLAIMER: This content is meant purely for educational purposes. It contains only general information about real estate and/or legal matters. It is NOT legal advice and should not be treated as such. We recommend consulting a legal or tax professional before acting on any material, opinion, or point of view described herein. .


COVID-19 Safety As all of us at the CREM Group market and sell our inventory of probate, trust, and conservatorship homes for our clients, we adhere to the COVID-19 regulations set by the California Association of Realtors. .


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