A conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the “conservator“) to care for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances.
Conservatorships may also be necessary when someone is the victim of elder or dependent adult financial abuse. An elderly person is someone 65 years old or old and dependent adult person is someone between the ages of 18 and 64 that has certain mental or physical disabilities that keep him or her from being able to do normal activities or protect himself or herself. Welfare and Institutions Code section 15610.07
The law says elder or dependent adult abuse is:
- Physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction (taking the person out of the state against his or her will), or other behavior that causes physical harm, pain, or mental suffering; OR
- Deprivation by a caregiver of things or services that the elder or dependent adult needs to avoid physical harm or mental suffering
A person can also be abused when the victim is subject to the “undue influence” of an abuser in a way that benefits the abuser. So that even in situations where a conservatorship may not be necessary, as in the situation in which the victim has given a durable power of attorney for financial matters to someone, if that someone ends up using the power inapproriately, there may be financial abuse.
If you have questions about conservatorships, the Mullin Law Firm may be able to help.