California has three types of conservatorships: general, limited, and temporary. A conservatorship is a legal guardianship over an adult. Conservators have specific types of authority over the conservatee’s life. This is not the same thing as a power of attorney because a conservatee has to go to court in order to have a chance at ending the conservatorship. With a power of attorney, the individual can end it at any time they want to.
Conservators have more control under general conservatorships. It’s typically for people who are unable to provide personal care for themselves or make financial decisions. They are usually unable to manage any aspect of their lives.
Limited conservatorships are for people who can manage some aspects of their lives, such as their personal care. If they are able to eat, get dressed and bathe on their own, but they have a mental health condition that prevents them from managing their finances, then the court may choose a limited conservatorship.
California might grant a temporary conservatorship in dire situations to ensure an adult has their needs met. There is a specific start and end date for this type. California usually sets the period for 30–60 days. Like general and limited conservatorships, a temporary conservatorship is either for the person, the estate, or both. There are additional restrictions in place. Temporary conservators can’t move conservatees out of their homes unless there is an emergency. They also can’t sell their assets, end their leases or sell their homes.
Conservatorships aren’t always necessary when an adult is in need of personal or financial assistance. Sometimes, a power of attorney is the more suitable choice. If a person has rules for a power of attorney in their incapacitation plan, then this overrides a conservatorship request.