California law recognizes that individuals young and old may need help in charting their own future or in managing their affairs. The courts allow responsible adults to take this role in another’s life, and Orange County attorney Diamond Tran can help you take on the responsibility in the form of guardianships and conservatorships.
Orange County Guardianship & Conservatorship Attorney
You’ve likely heard of someone being a legal guardian for a child. The guardianship is the process of petitioning the court to obtain the right to make decisions for and about a minor child that is not biologically yours.
Conservatorships are usually for an adult to take control of the affairs of another, usually elderly, adult. You must also petition the court for a conservatorship.
A young relative or child you know may move in with you as you volunteer to care for that child. Yet, the right to make decisions for the child legally remains with the biological or custodial parent. You must ask the court to confer legal authority on you through the guardianship process. You can then make decisions on health care, education and discipline. You may apply for social services to help with the care of the minor. If the child has substantial assets, you may request to manage the child’s estate. The parents will still have some legal rights, unlike an adoption.
Ms. Tran will help guide you through the process. She will alert you to any potential problems and represent you in court if necessary.
When an adult is unable to take care of their own health or financial concerns, a friend or lawyer may recommend you petition the court for a conservatorship. You may ask the court to give you rights to make decisions on the person’s personal well-being or you may only ask to make decisions regarding finances. You can request both rights.
You may also ask the court to grant another adult permission to look after your affairs. Diamond Tran can advise you or a loved one about the process, how to draft any request to get the rights you need, while leaving your loved one with some control over their affairs. These decisions, often made when a person is in their later years, can cause some angst as it is always difficult to discuss this issues. Ms. Tran will provide sound advice while treating your case with the sensitivity it demands. Call Ms. Tran today for assistance with requesting conservator or guardian status.
A Limited Conservatorship is the court process where a judge gives a person, called a Limited Conservator, certain rights to care for another adult who has a developmental disability, called a Limited Conservatee. A common example is when parents of a developmentally disabled child want to continue caring for and making important decisions for the child after he/she turns 18 years old, and want to limit the child’s rights and responsibilities as an adult. In this case, a Petition for Limited Conservatorship must be filed with the Court. In general, a person qualifies as developmentally disabled if s/he has an IQ less than 70 or is diagnosed with autism. (Other conditions can qualify as well.) We recommend starting the process 3 to 4 months before the Limited Conservatee turns 18. (The Orange County Probate Court usually grants Petitions 3 to 4 months after the Petition has been filed.)
If the Petition is granted, the Judge decides what rights the Limited Conservator will have. Because developmentally disabled people can usually do many things on their own, the Judge will only give the Limited Conservator power to do things the Limited Conservatee cannot do without help. This usually includes deciding where the Limited Conservatee will live, making important medical and educational decisions, and reviewing the Limited Conservatee’s confidential information, as well as other powers. Conservators are often parents or other family members. Any responsible adult can be a conservator. It is a good idea to have at least one parent or other relative act as co-Limited Conservators.
In most cases where there is no Limited Conservatorship in place, the director of the Regional Center has the authority to make most of the developmentally disabled adult’s decisions. This is a nonprofit organization supervised by the Department of Developmental Services.
The forms and paperwork to obtain a Limited Conservatorship can be overwhelming. We are here as a resource. Please contact the Law Office of Diamond Tran for a free consultation.