Jennifer F. Scharre, probate and trust attorney, discusses the process to create a California Conservatorship.
Once you have made the decision or you have worked with an attorney and determined that a California conservatorship is necessary, the next thing you need to do is file your documents with the court. There are a variety of judicial council forms and they are literally fill in the blank forms on the Internet. Most court websites actually have very helpful self-help pages that explain to you all of the documents that need to be filed.
Petition for Probate for California Conservatorship
The first of these documents is a petition for probate. This is your essential document that tells the court what you are asking for and why you are asking for it. Another essential document is what is called Confidential Supplemental Information. In the petition for probate, because that is a public court record, you do not want to go into too much detail about someone’s medical diagnosis or personal information – especially where you have some of those challenging family dynamics. The supplemental confidential information is really your opportunity to explain to the court and the court staff what’s really going on and why this is really necessary.
California Conservatorship Court Investigator
You will also be working throughout this process with someone called a court investigator. This is the person that the court relies on as the boots on the ground. They go out and meet the proposed conservatee, they meet with the conservator, they may be calling family members or friends to figure out what is going on so that they can complete their own investigation. Ultimately, they will make their own recommendation to the judge. I’d say, most of the time the judge weighs heavily on that court investigator’s report and will make the decision they recommend.
Make sure you always go to the court website to look at the local rules as each county has specific items that they need before a conservatorship can be filed.
Sometimes you may have to call the court investigator’s office. Sometimes a capacity declaration is required in advance – so you may need to speak to the client’s doctors. Just be aware of all of the requirements that are necessary. Because really you are asking the court to take away someone’s freedom and they take that very seriously.
Jennifer F. Scharre is an attorney at the San Jose law firm, Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP. She provides representation in estate planning, conservatorship matters, guardianship matters, and trust and estate administration and litigation. Jennifer may be reached at 408-290-7210 or www.tcklawfirm.com.
Kathleen Daniels specializes in probate, conservatorship and trust real property sales.
If you need help to create a California conservatorship or any other legal help click the link below.