Conservatorship is the appointment of a guardian by a judge to manage the financial affairs and/or daily life of another person due to old age or physical or mental limitations.


A conservatorship is when an adult (over 18) is declared incompetent by a judge because he/she is no longer able to manage his/her affairs or delegate them to someone else. This happens when there is evidence that the person lacks judgment, reasoning, memory, etc.

There are certain requirements to seek an appointment as a conservator.

A conservatorship in California involves a petition with the court to appoint someone as a conservator of an individual who needs help managing their financial affairs. Most often this person is a relative or close friend. 

The petition states the reasons why he or she needs to be placed under conservatorship. An interview will follow where the judge determines if the person is really incapacitated.

Once the interview occurs, a hearing will be held. At this hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant the petition for conservatorship. If the court decides that the person should be under a conservatorship, then the judge will appoint a legal guardian who will make decisions about health care, finances, and other personal matters for the incapacitated individual.

Conservatorships can take anywhere from 6-12 months to become official, sometimes it may be longer.

    There are Advantages and Disadvantages to Filing for a Conservatorship:

    The advantages are:

    • Conservatorship offers great protection for the conservatees. 
    • A conservator can be a third-party mediator when there are family disputes over something.

    There are also some disadvantages that should be considered:

    •  Conservatorship hearings are part of a public record, which gives other people access to information about you.
    • Conservatorship hearing and processing costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time.