On January 31, a court placed pop idol Britney Spears under temporary co-conservatorship of her father James Spears and attorney Andrew Wallete, giving them complete control of her assets. This action pushed conservatorship to the forefront for troubled young celebrities; the latest case is that of Lindsay Lohan whose father is threatening to petition the court for a guardianship. This is a newer trend establishes guardianships for younger individuals; where in the past, conservatorships were often associated with assisting ailing relatives who could no longer care for themselves.
In fact, a conservatorship can effectively function to handle a variety of disputes where a person is unable to make personal or financial decisions, regardless of their age. A conservatorship is set up after a judge makes a determination that someone is unable to care for themselves or make financial decisions. Then the judge chooses another person or organization ("conservator") to be in charge of the conservatee's care or finances, or both. Pursuant to California Law, the conservator must act as a fiduciary and use ordinary care and diligence in the management and control of the estate California Probate Code §2401. The Conservator is court supervised and there are bond requirements and regular accounting to insure that the conservator is meeting their fiduciary obligations.
For more information about Conservatorships in California contact an experienced Probate and estate litigation Attorney.