In basic terms, conservatorship means the court has assigned a person or organization to take legal control over another person. Kids or adults who are disabled and are in need of ongoing help, or elderly men and women who are mentally or physically unable to care for themselves or manage their own finances are some of the cases in which conservatorship may be sought. Once conservatorship is obtained, the conservator gains the legal right to make decisions for, and act in the best interest of, the conservatee.

King Law Firm Attorneys at Law, Inc. understands that every situation is unique. And though having a conservator may benefit an elderly or physically disabled person in certain circumstances, it doesn’t mean conservatorship is always the best option. We can help you decide whether conservatorship is in the best interest of the elderly or disabled, and help provide you with a better understanding of your options. If conservatorship is found to be the most beneficial course of action, we offer guidance, support and representation throughout the process to make sure you are never left feeling confused or unsure.

Probate Conservatorship

The most common type of conservatorship, probate conservatorship is based on California Probate Code laws. There are three types of probate conservatorships:

  • General Conservatorship: This is for adults who cannot take care of themselves or their finances. Though the conservatees are usually elderly, they may also include younger people who have been seriously impaired.
  • Limited Conservatorship: This is for adults with developmental disabilities who can’t fully take care of themselves or their finances, but don’t need the higher-level of care for which a general conservatee might need.
  • Temporary Conservatorship: When a conservator is needed immediately, the court will appoint a temporary conservator until such time as a general conservator can be appointed. Their main duties include arranging for temporary care, protection of the conservatee and their finances, and support.

Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Conservatorship

LPS conservatorships are for adults with serious mental health issues who require extensive mental health treatment or restrictive living arrangements. Local government agencies must start an LPS conservatorship, and conservators cannot agree to special living arrangements on their own.


The court can appoint two types of conservators:

Conservator of the Person

This type of conservator cares for and protects the person. Their main duty is to guarantee the conservatee has proper clothing, food, shelter, health care, and overall well-being.

Conservator of the Estate

This type of conservator takes care of the conservatee’s finances, including paying bills, budgeting, investment, collecting income and disability, and protecting the conservatee’s assets.


Being appointed conservator of the person does not automatically make that person the conservator of the estate. A person who wishes to become a conservator of both person and estate must file a petition to do so.

Professional Fiduciary or Public Guardian

If someone needs a conservator, but a suitable relative or friend cannot be found, you may nominate a professional fiduciary or a public guardian to act as conservator. Professional fiduciaries charge money, but the court must approve any fees the fiduciary charges prior to being appointed conservator. If the conservatee can’t afford these fees, you may choose to hire a public guardian, who have personal conservators and property administrators on hand to serve as conservators.

Setting up a conservatorship can be a long and complex process, so you want to make sure this is in the best interest of all the parties involved. Contact King Law Firm Attorneys at Law, Inc. for a consultation.

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