Conservatorship Court Document Preparation – Riverside & San Bernardino County
Conservatorship Court Document Preparation – Riverside & San Bernardino County
What is a Conservatorship in California? – The court procedure where an adult is appointed by the Probate Court to oversee and be responsible for the personal care and/or finances and assets of another adult who is incapable of managing alone. Conservatorships can be petitioned at the court for adults of 18 years old up to any age. Not all situations are the same so conservatorships are petitioned for different reasons. Some common reasons why conservatorships are filed are as follows:
- A developmentally disabled minor who is turning 18
- A parent or spouse who is losing their mental capacity due to dementia or Alzheimer’s
- A spouse or family member who has suffered brain injuries or other injuries preventing them from giving informed consent
- An adult child who is under extreme influence or control of drugs or alcohol
Aside from the examples listed above, there could be any number of factors that contribute to someone needing to petition for a conservatorship. In California however, if a simple power of attorney and advance healthcare directives are in place, a conservatorship can usually be avoided altogether as consent has already been given by the proposed conservatee.
There is a lot of documentation and many procedures that must be followed without error in a conservatorship case in California. A Conservatorship Case Requires The Following:
- Required court documents to be completed and filed with the court
- A court hearing at the Superior Court, Probate Division
- An investigation by a court appointed social worker
- Notice to all relatives to the second degree
- Periodic accounting or follow ups with the court
- Filing fees, investigation fees, court reporter fees (in most cases)
California Conservatorship – The Process, An Overview
Currently, the process to obtain a conservatorship in California is several months, so understanding the process can save you time and undue hardship. In cases where immediate court intervention is needed, the option for an emergency filing is available, which can have the court granting orders right away. The time frame will also depend on the specific court of filing.
Filing a Conservatorship Case: Conservatorships in California are processed by the County Superior Court, Probate Division. There are 58 Counties in California and your Conservatorship case is typically processed in the County Court where the proposed conservatee resides. There are however some exceptions where case will be filed elsewhere. The conservatorships documents are prepared and then filed with the Clerks Filing Office. The clerk will review the documents, process filing fees, set required court dates and provide copies of filed documents. The conservatorship hearings are scheduled depending on the current court backlog and resource availability.
Required Declaration from Physician: In conservatorship cases in California, a licensed physician must complete a Capacity Declaration. This is a document where the doctor will review the medical condition of the proposed conservatee and report to the court their level of abilities such as cognitive ability, understanding, motor skills and more. This declaration can be filed with the initial petition, or after, but will be required to be in the file before the court hearing for orders to be made.
Required Conservatorship Investigation: The court will notify the County Department of Social Services of the conservatorship case filing. That department will then establish a case and begin working on the required investigation. They reach out to schedule an in person investigation of the proposed conservator. They also complete a full background check to include in their report to the court.
Essentially, the job of the investigator is to confirm that the proposed conservatee will be safe under the care of the proposed conservator. The court does not have the resources to complete this task, which is why it is tasked to another governmental agency who is more familiar with investigations of this nature.
Required Notifications in Conservatorship Cases: Per California Probate Code, the court requires that interested parties are notified and provided the opportunity to be involved in the conservatorship case. This is to not only provide opportunity for objections by other members of the family, but also the proposed conservatee.
Notifications are done several ways in California conservatorship cases. The proposed conservatee must be personally served with the filed petition and a notice of the hearing date. Other required notices to family members and interested parties can be done by mail. In both instances, a proof of the notification must be completed and filed with the court so the court has proof that these requirements have been met.
Conservatoship Court Hearing: The hearing (which was set when the petition and accompanying documents were filed) is where the court orders are made on the petition filed. The probate examiner (employee of the court) has reviewed the file and noted any questions or deficiencies. The investigation has been completed and the report is on file. The Judge has reviewed the case. The court allows for any objections and depending on all information, files, reports and documents on file, will make a decision.
In some cases, if the petitioner has not addressed any issues noted in their probate notes, the investigation report has not yet been completed or filed, or any objections were brought forward, the court may schedule another hearing for more time, or deny the petition altogether.
Conservatorships with Assets: In situations where a proposed conservatee owns financial assets or real property, a petitioner can petition for Conservatorship of the Person AND THE ESTATE. This simply means the petitioner also is requesting authority over the assets and debts of the conservatee.
In these situations the process is similar, but with more aspects in the case to address. Required appraisals of the estate are to be completed and filed with the court. This is done by a California Probate Referee. Learn more about Inventory and Appraisals and Probate Referees here. A bond will usually be required to protect the estate.
After the Hearing – What’s Next? The appointment of the conservator is not the final step in the case. The case does not close at the court. There will be additional documents due after the hearing and periodically after the hearing throughout the case.
Our Approach to Conservatorship Document Preparation for the Court
Our job and priority at Just Document Preparation, is to make the process as easy as we can for you. After we obtain all the required information we need from you to work on your petition, we will prepare it immediately. As soon as the documents are filed we will send notification to all the parties who are required to be notified of the matter by mail and we will provide proof to the court. Prior to the hearing, we will check with the court to make sure everything is in place so your time isn’t wasted and you have legal authority to take care of your loved one.
We Prepare Conservatorship Documents with a 100% Success Rate
Just Document Preparation’s experience in preparing conservatorship documents and procedures ensures that your conservatorship will move through the legal process as quickly and easily as possible. You will not go through this any faster or easier with any other professional legal document preparation service. Preparing for conservatorship is a detailed process with many steps and dealing with several different entities. We prepare all documents and make sure that everything is complete prior to the hearing so you won’t experience any delays. There’s no need to be overwhelmed trying to take care of your conservatorship on your own.
We Have Been Assisting with Conservatorships Since 1996
Typically clients need conservatorship orders fast. We can have your petition for conservatorship ready to file quickly. We are bonded and registered as required by California Business & Professions Code §6400. We have been successfully preparing conservatorships since 1996 with a 100% success rate. Most of our business comes to us through referrals from satisfied clients. Our flat fee pricing for conservatorships is clear and upfront. You will never have surprise costs with us.
- Bonded and registered as required by California Business & Professions Code §6400
- We Have been preparing Conservatorships since 1996
- Most of our business comes to us through referrals from our satisfied clients
- Flat fee & clear upfront pricing mean no surprises
- Same & Next Day Appointments Available
- More 5 Star Reviews Than Any Other in the Local Industry
What Our Clients Say
After having a less-than-lackluster experience with a previous paralegal, I was in dire need of help! Luisa at Just Document Preparation was a GODSEND. She was so nice, patient, understanding, professional, and helped me untangle the mess of incomplete paperwork and missing forms the last guy had ma