Probate
Probate Conservatorship
This is the legal process under the Probate Code where the Court appoints someone (the conservator) to act on the behalf of another (the conservatee). A proposed conservatee must be unable to properly provide for his/her personal needs for health, food, clothing or shelter, and/or must be unable to manage his/her financial resources or resist fraud or undue influence for reasons other than mental illness or chronic alcoholism.
Who Is Appointed?
The Court may appoint a family member or friend to act as conservator. Persons who are willing to become the conservator for a person may do so on their own with involving the County. It is possible to file for a conservatorship without an attorney. (Nolo Press has information which can be purchased online or call (800) 728-3555.)

If there are any complications or disagreements among family members, a private attorney should be used. If there is no relative or friend willing or able to act as conservator, a private professional conservator can be used if there are resources to pay for that arrangement.
How It Begins
If there is no family member, friend, or private professional conservator to act as a conservator, the County may become involved. Adult Protective Services makes an assessment in all of the conservatorship referrals it receives. After an investigation, APS makes a referral to the Public Guardian when appropriate. The Public Guardian's Office then submits the referral to the County Counsel to file a petition in Superior Court.

In matters in which the County is involved, the Public Guardian is usually appointed the conservator for those persons found by the Court toneed such assistance. The staff of the Public Guardian's Office provides case management and makes decisions in the best interest of the conservatee.
The Court's Involvement
Before the appointment of a conservator, a Superior Court Investigator must interview the proposed conservatee personally, review the matter and file a report. All proposed conservatees have the right to a Court-appointed attorney during the conservatorship process and may object to the conservatorship. The Court reviews a Probate conservatorship one year after it is established and every two years there-after. A Probate conservatorship continues until terminated by the death of the conservatee or by order of the Court if the conservatorship is no longer necessary.