Conservatorship

Los Angeles Special Education Attorney

Some children with disabilities are not ready to safely make all of the decisions that adults are allowed to make when they turn 18. The law does not discriminate or infringe on a person’s rights simply because they have a disability, nor should it. In California, every person is automatically granted all of the rights of adulthood on their 18th birthday. However, if you feel that your child is not ready to make this transition, you can seek conservatorship. Special education attorney Fred J. Fleming can help you decide if conservatorship is the right choice in your unique situation and help you through the legal process.

Conservatorship Basics

Conservatorship is similar to guardianship, but more limited. It is designed to allow your child to retain as many rights as possible. One very important difference between guardianship and conservatorship is that individuals subject to guardianship are considered legally incompetent while those subject to conservatorship are not.

In a conservatorship, the conservator is the individual who bears responsibility and the conservatee is the individual being taken care of. The conservator is usually a family member. Conservatorship of a person gives the conservator control over and responsibility for basic aspects of life such as medical decisions, food, clothing, and shelter. Conservatorship of a person’s estate gives the conservator control over and responsibility for the person’s money and property.

Limited Conservatorship

Limited conservatorship is available, in California, for people with developmental disabilities. The court grants the conservator authority over specific areas of the conservatee’s life. Limited conservatorship was designed to give the disabled person the help and protection they need while promoting as much independence and self-reliance as possible.

In order to obtain a limited conservatorship you must prove that your child is developmentally disabled by law and unable to handle some of the basic aspects of life on their own. The conservator becomes responsible for securing housing and medical care, as well as training, education, and vocational and social opportunities for the conservatee.

The conservator does not automatically have control over all aspects of the disabled person’s rights. A judge must determine if it is appropriate to give the conservator authority over the conservatee in specific areas including:

  • Choosing where he will live
  • Choosing who he lives with
  • Access to confidential records, such as medical records
  • Consent to medical treatment
  • Making decisions regarding education
  • Getting married
  • Entering into contracts
  • Managing social affairs
  • Managing financial affairs
  • Sexual contacts and relationships

A Big Decision

Conservatorship is a big decision, not to be taken lightly. It is a lot of work and responsibility for the conservator and it takes away some of your child’s rights which, depending on the child, can cause a rift in the relationship and damage the child’s sense of well-being and motivation to become independent. Consider whether it is truly necessary, or if there are more appropriate alternatives which can benefit your child.

If your child is nearing the age of majority and you are concerned about what the future will hold and what your rights and responsibilities will be, the Law Office of Fred J. Fleming can help. Please contact us online right away to learn more and schedule your initial consultation.

The materials on this website are for general information purposes only. This website does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Any description of previous success is not intended to and does not imply success regarding your potential lawsuit or hearing.