Guardianship & Conservatorship
What is Guardianship?
Guardianship of the Person
Guardianship of the Estate
What is a Temporary Guardianship?
What are the alternatives to a Guardianship?
Conservatorship of the Person
Conservatorship of the Estate
General Conservatorship v. Limited Conservatorship
What are the alternatives to a conservatorship?
Designation of a Healthcare Surrogate
By Individuals With Capacity
By Individuals Without Capacity
The spouse or domestic partner of the patient
Advanced Healthcare Directive (AHCD)
An AHCD is a legal document that allows a person to specify their medical treatment preferences and appoint a trusted person to make healthcare decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. It includes details about medical history, values, beliefs, and end-of-life wishes. This document covers a broad range of situations, such as life-sustaining treatment, pain management, organ donation, and other medical decisions. This sample AHCDPDF is from the California’s Office of the Attorney General.
Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
While an AHCD is a comprehensive legal document that covers a wide range of healthcare decisions, a POLST is a medical form that is focused on end-of-life decisions that require immediate medical attention. For instance, it may specify whether a person wants to receive CPR, antibiotics, or be put on a ventilator. It also provides information about comfort measures, such as pain relief and hospice care.
Power of Attorney (POA)
A POA allows one person to name another person to make financial or other decisions on their behalf. A POA can be either “durable” or “springing.”
A durable POA means the person who has been named to make financial or legal decisions will be able to continue to do so as long as the POA exists.
A springing POA comes into effect when something occurs, such as a determination of incapacity.
This sample California Uniform Statutory POA is from the Sacramento County Public Library.
A living trust allows a person to put assets and property, like bank accounts, real estate and life insurance, under the control of a trustee. Most people set themselves up as the trustee and also name a trusted person to be the successor trustee. When they die or become incapacitated or unable to manage the assets, the successor trustee takes over.
Special Needs Trusts (SNT)
An SNT is a way for a person with a disability to maintain eligibility for public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income and Medi-Cal, even while having assets that would normally make them ineligible. The Department of Health Care Services provides additional information about SNTs.
What type of investigation is involved with becoming a conservator?
In limited conservatorships and general conservatorships where the petition is alleging that the proposed conservatee has Major Neurocognitive Disorder (formerly known as dementia), the Court will appoint an attorney to represent the proposed conservatee. The court-appointed attorney will contact the parties and prepare a report for the hearing.
After appointment, all Conservatorship cases are subject to periodic investigations by the Court Investigator. (Prob. Code §1850)