What are conservatorships?

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More than a million people are currently under a “conservatorship,” which is a legal guardianship arrangement that recently made headlines due to a dispute between Britney Spears and her father. But what is a conservatorship, and how is it supposed to work? To get some insight, we spoke with Lou Silverman of Silverman Law Offices.

“Conservatorship involves the appointment of a person or an entity to take care of the property of another person, so their money, their real estate, their possessions, everything. A guardianship is taking care of the person, so a guardian is responsible for healthcare and residential care, and entertainment, and travel and all the needs a person may have on a personal level,” Silverman said.

He continued that conservatorship and guardianship are two different positions and two different appointments.

A big definition of conservatorship is, “the appointment of a person for the management of the property or assets of an incompetent or incapacitated person,” Silverman said.

An incapacitated person is someone who is unable to manage their estate and affairs because of mental illness, mental deficiency, mental disorder, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication etc.

These are the basis of what may require a person to have a conservator.

Those who are appointed as conservators may have been nominated, they may be family members and there are companies that are authorized by the Supreme Court. All of these could “theoretically be the conservator and a guardian,” Silverman said.

With getting conservatorships, “once the court has made a determination that a person is incapacitated, it’s tough, it’s like trying to overturn a touchdown when there’s not conclusive evidence…the ward can always petition for the court to reconsider,” Silverman said.

Lou Silverman, Silverman Law Group

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