Conservatorships for Disabled Adults in California

Many clients ask us about the differences between the Developmentally Disabled Adult Conservatorships called a Limited Conservatorship and what is appropriate for a person who is a non-developmentally disabled adult.  You should know that the main difference between the two types of conservatorships are that the Developmentally Disabled Adult Conservatorship requires that before the age of 18, the conservatee has manifested a delay or a disability.  Non-Developmental Conservatorships are Adult Conservatorships.  The most common situations are persons who have turned 18 or about to turn 18, and who need greater help as a adults.

The goals of the Limited Conservatorship v. the General Conservatorship are different.  While both conservatorships are protective, the Limited Conservatorship allows more freedom to the conservatee.  Normally, there are seven common powers given by the court in Limited Conservatorship cases.  For example, the Limited Conservatee can in most cases be able to participate in certain areas of his or her life.  The Limited Conservatee may be able to work, and help with paying bills.  While in most cases, the right to contract may be restricted to the Limited Conservatee, the ability to help oneself is not taken away.  The goal for the Limited Conservatorship is to preserve as many of the rights of the conservatee as are possible to allow him or her to flourish.  In most cases, the assets of the conservatee can be protected in a Special Needs Trust for Limited Conservatees.

General Conservatorships, on the other hand, are more restrictive of the disabled person.  Many powers are given to the conservator which do not exist in the Limited Conservatorship.  With an older adult, over 65 years of age, the Conservator may has for dementia medication and secured perimeter housing, which powers do not exist in the limited conservatorship in California.  Unfortunately, in California, for persons younger than 65, the ability of the conservator to give psychotropic medications and secured perimeter placement does not exist, unless the person is under an LPS Conservatorship or Mental Health Conservatorship.  LPS Conservatorship filings are reserved only for the Public Guardian and Psychiatrists while is a mental health facility.

What to do if you need to medicate a person with a disability?  Medication rights are preserved to the person, however, under the Limited Conservatorship, the Conservator can ask for the right to make medical decisions.   Once a person is conservated in a probate conservatorship, a request can be made for an evaluation by the Department of Mental Health in Los Angeles, to determine, if the person is eligible for an LPS or mental health conservatorship.   LPS Conservatorships are sometimes referred to as psychiatric conservatorships. That is the back way to the LPS court, but the road is a difficult one.

To discuss our retention as your attorneys for Limited Conservatorships, Conservatorships for Developmentally Disabled Adults of Non-Developmentally Disabled Conservatorships, contact Mina Sirkin, Conservatorship Attorney in Los Angeles County at 818.340.4479.