Legal Care for those who Need Help Offered at LA Probate Law
In California, a conservatorship is used when an adult cannot physically care for themselves or is unable to handle their financial affairs and another person is appointed by the court to handle such matters on a person’s behalf. A guardianship is used to establish similar arrangements on behalf of minors. The Los Angeles probate lawyers at LA Probate Law take special care in handling conservatorship cases on behalf of our clients. Establishing a conservator for someone’s physical and financial well-being is a serious responsibility requiring the legal skills of a veteran law firm experienced in probate court matters. In some cases, a power of attorney may be a more appropriate than establishing a conservatorship and an experienced attorney will be able to best advise you on the most appropriate course of action for your legal situation. A California conservatorship case is started by filing paperwork in Probate Court and providing copies to the person over whom conservatorship is sought, known as the conservatee.
Working on Behalf
While this can sometimes be a painful process for all involved – especially when a conservatee is being targeted against his or her will, as in the case of an elderly family member or a loved one dealing with a mental illness – our attorneys are dedicated to working on behalf of our clients to help complete the process in a safe and timely fashion. Cases in which a pending estate is at issue can also involve contentious conservatorship hearings. By working across all branches of our comprehensive law practice — including estate planning, business litigation, personal injury, criminal law and immigration — our firm can help ensure you have the legal resources necessary to successfully argue your case. Once the conservatorship process is started, a court investigator will talk to the conservatee and other parties with knowledge of the situation states LA Probate Law. A hearing is then held to determine whether a conservator will be appointed and who the conservator will be. Once a conservator is appointed, certain steps must be taken to comply with the orders or the court under a conservatorship agreement. Many living trusts include a provision that allows the successor trustee to become the acting trustee if two physicians certify in writing that the original trustee is not mentally competent. Trusts of this type should be amended to include language authorizing the successor trustee to obtain medical information about the original trustee.
Appraisal & Conservator
An inventory and appraisal of the estate of the person under conservatorship must be conducted and filed within 90 days of the date a judge signs an Order Appointing Probate Conservator. For assets other than cash, a conservator will be required to provide the inventory and appraisal to a court referee. The probate referee will make a final determination as to the value of the items, which can take several months. The estate is charged a fee for the work of the referee, which can include expenses, such as mileage, in addition to a set percentage of the estate explain LA Probate Law. Once a conservatorship has been established, the court will conduct periodic investigations to make sure the person under conservatorship is being properly cared for and to determine the need to continue conservatorship. In faces where a conservator is charged with handling a person’s finances, a bond just be posted and detailed periodic accounting of income and expenditures must be provided to the court. A conservator must provide periodic status reports regarding the conservatee’s welfare and condition and the actions a conservator has made in carrying out his or her duties. A conservator is generally eligible to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, which will require court approval.
Advance Health Care Directive
The Advance Health Care Directive can be used to appoint a family member or friend to make health care decisions for you if you are physically or mentally unable to make those decisions yourself. Similar documents are also called Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care. This document is more comprehensive than a living will or a directive to physicians. The directive appoints an agent (and backup agents) who will carry out your wishes for health care. The directive also describes how much, or how little, medical care you want. For example, the directive might include details about use of pain-relieving drugs, when treatment should be halted, and whether nutrition and hydration should be provided to the patient. The agent’s authority to take action is triggered only by a determination that the patient lacks mental capacity. Lack of capacity is determined by the patient’s primary physician and by the agent expresses LA Probate Law. Usually the directive provides only general guidelines to an agent regarding the type of medical care that will be provided. However, the directive can also be very specific about “pulling the plug” and stopping life support, the type of medications and drugs that will be provided, and many other decisions. The directive can also specify whether food and water should be given to the patient, and whether pain relief should be provided. Are Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care still valid? Yes, and they do not need to be amended unless you would like to list new agents, or you want to change other details regarding the type of health care that will be provided.