A conservatorship is a court proceeding that is meant to protect people over the age of 18. There are two types, a conservatorship of the person and a conservatorship of the estate.


In a conservatorship of the person, the conservator manages the personal care of a person who cannot properly provide for his or her personal needs for physical health, medical care, food, clothing, or shelter. The conservator decides where the conservatee lives and may be required to decide whether the conservatee should live at home or in an institution. The conservator must make sure that the place selected is the “least restrictive” appropriate alternative that is available and necessary to meet the individual’s needs but does not control the conservatee’s right to receive visitors, telephone calls and personal mail, nor other “personal rights,” unless personally limited by court order.

In a conservatorship of the estate, a court-appointed conservator manages the financial affairs of a person who is substantially unable to manage his or her own financial resources or to resist fraud or undue influence. The conservator’s primary responsibility is to conserve, manage, and use the conservatee’s property in California for the benefit of both the conservatee and those whom he or she is obligated to support. The conservator must use ordinary care and diligence.

The paperwork required by the court and the law that applies to conservatorships can be complicated. Before beginning a conservatorship proceeding, you should consult an attorney to assist you in navigating this complex process.