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Part II: Temporary Conservator is Entitled to Reimbursement of Reasonable Expenses Regardless Of Whether Permanent Conservatorship is Established

In continuation of our blog on the Conservatorship of Cornelius, Cornelius appealed the trial court's ruling awarding approximately $34,000 to McDonald from Cornelius estate. Cornelius claims Probate Code sections 2641 and 2642 only empowers a court to award reimbursement costs to a temporary conservator and his/her attorneys only if and after a permanent conservator has been appointed. The Court of Appeal disagreed with Cornelius stating that sections 2641 and 2642 do not make a distinction between temporary and permanent conservators. The Court further added that "a temporary conservator is entitled to reimbursement of legal fees and other expenses properly incurred for the conservatee's benefit during the term of that temporary appointment regardless of whether a permanent conservator is ever appointed." It is therefore benefit to the conservatee, not establishment of a permanent conservatorship that determines whether a temporary conservator is entitled to reimbursement.

The Court also found substantial evidence that the "services and expenses for which compensation is ordered were rendered in good faith and in the best interests of the conservatee." Reports from the court-appointed investigator and court-appointed attorney confirm that Cornelius will and did benefit from the temporary conservatorship. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's order and deemed that the award and its amount were proper.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be construed as professional legal advice.

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