Conservatorship Law


What is a Conservatorship? Conservatorships are created to help family members who can no longer make financial, medical, and lifestyle decisions. For instance, when a disabled child reaches adulthood, it might be beneficial to have a conservator in order for the parents to continue to make decisions regarding the safety or well-being of their child. A conservator, essentially ensures the care of a mentally or physically disabled or otherwise incapacitated adult. 



A conservator is appointed in instances when a person requires extra care. The conservator can be a wide range of people including: 

  • Spouses
  • Relatives
  • Close Friends
  • Neighbors
  • Professional Caretakers
  • Etc.

However, there are procedures and extra qualifications that potential conservators must meet in order to be able to serve. Our office can help you with every step in the process and aid you in deciding if conservatorship is the right choice for your loved one. 



The necessity for a conservatorship may arise in several situations. These situations can include: 

  • A family member or friend become incapacitated by an accident
  • A family member or friend become incapacitated by illness 
  • A family member or friend become incapacitated by advancing age
  • An elderly person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

In the above instances it might be appropriate to petition the court to appoint a conservator. That person will become responsible for taking care of the conservatee’s medical and/or financial affairs. While conservatorships are often for the elderly, occasionally, the conservatee might be a younger person, too. 





A general conservatorship is usually used for either younger people who have serious impairment from an accident, or for elderly people who might have serious limitation as a result of aging or Alzheimer’s. 



This type of conservatorship is typical for adults who have developmental disabilities. Typically, they cannot fully care for themselves, but they also don’t require the same level of care that a general conservatorship provides. The developmental disabilities include: developmental delays, cerebral palsy, down’s syndrome, epilepsy, and autism- all of which begin before the conservatee’s 18th birthday. 



This type of consevatorship is put in place when a person needs immediate help. Temporary conservatorships are used when it would be harmful to wait until the conservatorship proceeding is concluded to appoint a conservator. 



So, a conservatorship is a legal process where an adult caretaker, or “conservator,” is appointed by a judge to handle the financial and medical affairs and care for another adult, called “conservatee.” The judge must determine that the conservatee is unable to perform the aforementioned tasks for themselves. 

There are 2 types of conservatorships:

  1. A conservatorship of the estate
  2. A conservatorship of the person

In the conservatorship of the person, conservators must make sure that their conservatee is properly clothed, housed, and fed. Whereas, conservators of the estate are in charge of managing the conservatee’s money and other assets. It is possible to be both the conservator of the estate and person, or just conservator of one.



  • Decides where the conservatee will be housed
  • Sets up protection and care for the conservatee
  • Ensures recreation and transportation for the Conservatee
  • Oversees the conservatee’s Meals, Personal care, Health Care, Clothing, and other life essentials. 


  • Finds and takes charge of the conservatee’s assets
  • Oversees the finances of the conservatee
  • Handles asset and investment protection for the conservatee
  • Pays Bills, Creates Budgets , and Collects Income for the conservatee

Regardless of what your need is when it comes to the disabled young adult and seniors in your life, you can benefit from Patricia C. Van Haren’s counsel. She has over 20 years experience and a positive track record of creating solutions that you will be pleased with. Her conservator law practice is founded on personal service and proven skills that yield results.