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What will a judge consider when appointing a conservator?

Laguna Hills, CA |
Filed under: Probate Probate court

Why would a judge NOT appoint a family member as conservator?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

Your question is very general and without more details on your situation I can only list some of the reason a judge might not appoint a family member as conservator. There are two types of conservatorships: of the Person and of the Estate. To be appointed conservator of the estate the candidate must be financially responsible, have nor record of crimes of financial/moral turpitude (such as fraud) and have no felony convictions. To be appointed conservator of the person, the bar is a little lower and the judge will often inquire as to whether the proposed conservator has the capabilities to be manage the conservatee's care. As with family law issues concerning children, the court may rule based on the best interests of the proposed conservatee. If a family member does not qualify, a private professional or corporate fiduciary may be appointed. The public defender or public administrator may inform the court that it believes a family member is not qualified to be appointed conservator and the court will give great deference to this input.
I hope this helps. Seek advice from an attorney whose practice includes experience with conservatorships. Good luck.

Nothing contained in the information on this web site is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice for specific cases and readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. This web site is intended for educational purposes only. Michael R. Weinstein, is licensed to practice only before the courts of the State of California, and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Central District and the United States Cou rt of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. No information contained herein is to be considered applicable to legal matters in domestic or foreign jurisdictions outside of the State of California.

Posted

The guiding principle in conservatorship is what is in the best interest of the conservatee. As far as who is to be conservator (versus whether a conservator is needed), first priority is given to the nominee of the conservatee (made at a time when the conservatee had the ability to form such a preference), so long as the nominee is in the best interest of the conservatee. Next, preference is given to family members (spouse, child, parent, sibling, etc) and then nominees of family members. Usually a judge will only appoint a non-family member as conservator if: (A) the non-family member was nominated by the conservatee; (B) the non-family member filed for conservatorship and no-one opposed; (C) the non-family member was nominated by a family member and no-one with a higher priority opposed; or (D) the family can't get along, so the judge appoints the public guardian or a private professional fiduciary.

As the previous answer states, these tend to be very fact specific issues.

I am only licensed to practice law in the State of California. As such, answers are based on an application of California law to general factual scenarios and should not be considered for any other purpose. The information presented in this answer should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor as forming a lawyer/client relationship. Individuals reading this answer are encouraged to seek independent legal counsel from an attorney licensed to practice law in their state for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

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