What Is A Limited Conservatorship?

Hi there, Bridget Mackay here. I’m an attorney in Petaluma, and I practice in the area of estate planning and elder law.

I want to talk about conservatorships today. A conservatorship basically is when a person needs to take over the financial and health decision making of another adult. And, it’s something that they have to go to court to do and it’s a whole court process, in order to get those rights over another individual in place. I’ve talked about conservatorships before in other blogs, in other topics, so if you are looking at this topic, definitely do your research on those ’cause there’s more information there. But today, I want to talk about limited conservatorships cause they’re different. Typically, we think of a conservatorship in a situation where you have an elderly parent, or you have a parent who has dementia or capacity issues, and they have no plan, and so you have to take over to be their healthcare agent and to manage their financial affairs.

A limited conservatorship is different. This deals with people with developmental disabilities. So, a child who has had autism, or is on the spectrum in some way, or has needed care ever since they were young, then it’s a different type of conservatorship when that child turns 18. Typically, the parents can no longer make their medical decisions, they can’t enter into contracts for them, determine where their housing is. So that’s when a limited conservatorship comes in. It’s really focused on that community of developmentally disabled adults. Where a caregiver, another person in that adult’s life who’s taking care of them, can come into court and get the rights to help them make any contracts, locate where they’re going to live, control their social and sexual relationships, approve any marriage that they want to enter into, and any education and training they may need. It’s just a different form of limited conservatorship and it’s something you might want to look into if you have a child who’s developmentally disabled, or you know someone who does. It allows that parent to take over those decisions or continue to make those decisions for them, that they have been making since they were young.

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