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Facilitating care for your dependent loved ones & Contesting Conservatorships

At Van Dyke & Associates, APLC in San Diego, we can help you arrange for the care of an elderly parent or disabled adult. Our knowledgeable California attorneys can help you or another responsible relative appointed as a conservator for the individual who requires assistance. The conservator will have legal decision-making authority over your loved one’s health, finances, and welfare. We can also guide you in choosing a professional conservator whom you can trust to manage your loved one’s needs. Serving clients throughout the state, our firm is particularly adept in cases where the person who requires assistance opposes the establishment of a conservatorship. 

Caring for an Incapacitated Adult

If you already act as the responsible party for an incapacitated adult, or you have a child who will never be able to live independently, you definitely want to make arrangements for a conservatorship at your passing. We can advise you on the most appropriate means of securing the financial support and assistance with life’s needs for your dependent loved ones. 

Principled and sensitive advocacy during adversarial proceedings 

Parents who have lived independently are often resistant to having their adult children care for them, even as the infirmities of old age set in. If you see an urgent need to assume authority over an aging parent or other relative for their own good, you may have to petition the court to be appointed as a conservator of your loved one’s person and estate. Your loved one is entitled to have counsel which can oppose you. If such circumstances arise, you can trust in our experience, professionalism and sensitivity, as we proceed with the legal process. Our goal is not only to win the appointment, but as much as possible, to impress upon your parent the loving motivations for your actions. 

Common Conservatorship Issues:

Elder Financial Abuse —

In California, elder financial abuse is the most common crime against seniors. We proudly seek justice for those who should be our community's most valued and respected citizens, our elders. 

Power of Attorney —

Our firm represents principals and agents-in-fact under the California Power of Attorney Law. 

Contested Conservatorships —

We represent clients in proceedings to establish conservatorships for persons alleged to lack capacity to care for themselves. 

Glossary of Essential Terms

Conservatorship —

In a conservatorship proceeding, a judge evaluates whether someone should be given the legal power to care for a family member or friend. Conservatorship of the Person makes the conservator responsible for the conservatee’s daily needs, including food, shelter, clothing, medical care and finances. Under a Conservatorship of the Estate, the conservator is authorized to take care of financial matters, such as making bank transactions and completing their tax return. The proceeding begins with the filing of a Petition for Appointment of Probate Conservator, and the court can conduct an investigation to determine if the conservatorship is warranted.  

Financial Elder Abuse —

Whether it’s a neighbor who takes a Social Security check or an accountant who redirects funds from an older client to themselves, elder financial abuse is any type of fraud, theft or embezzlement that victimizes a senior. Often, the vulnerability of an elderly person will lead an unscrupulous party to trick them out of the funds they have earned over a lifetime of hard work. The victim might not even be aware that any problem exists, so if you suspect that someone is exploiting an elderly friend or relative for their own personal gain, you should seek help. 

Conservatorship  FAQs

When is a Conservatorship granted in California? 

A probate conservatorship is a powerful measure that courts might not grant if less restrictive options are available. Sometimes an incapacitated person might have a power of attorney or healthcare directive in place that appoints someone to handle their affairs when they cannot due to injury or illness. These might be preferable because the individual executed the documents themselves, and the authorizations can be lifted if their condition improves. However, if no such instrument has been executed, a conservatorship becomes more likely if the judge finds that the proposed conservatee lacks the ability to take care of their physical needs, obtain medical care and manage their financial resources. 

What grounds do you need to contest a Conservatorship?? 

Parents who have lived independently are often resistant to having their adult children care for them, even as the infirmities of old age set in. If you see an urgent need to assume authority over an aging parent or other relative for their own good, you may have to petition the court to be appointed as a conservator of your loved one’s person and estate. Your loved one is entitled to have counsel which can oppose you. If such circumstances arise, you can trust in our experience, professionalism and sensitivity, as we move forward with the legal process. Our goal is not only to win the appointment, but to demonstrate to your parent that you are seeking this conservatorship out of genuine love and concern.