The best way to plan for incapacity and secure the well-being of minor children is through a comprehensive estate plan. If, however, you have an elderly loved one who has become incapacitated, and has not executed a living trust, durable power of attorney and advance health care directive, options still remain. At Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP, our San Jose Conservatorship & Guardianship Attorneys help provide for the care of incapacitated adults or minor children through conservatorship or guardianship throughout Fremont, Walnut Creek, Dublin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Francisco, and other counties.

California Conservatorships

A conservatorship in California results from a court case where the judge appoints a responsible adult or organization, called a conservator, to care for an incapacitated adult, called a conservatee, who is often elderly and who cannot care for themselves or manage their finances.

To obtain a conservatorship over the incapacitated adult, a person must, preferably with the assistance of a Walnut Creek Conservatorship & Guardianship Attorney, file a petition with the court. Numerous interested persons may petition for conservatorship:

  • Proposed conservatee
  • Proposed conservator
  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Relatives or friends
  • Interested state and local agencies
  • Other interested parties

After a petition is filed, the court schedules a hearing and conducts an investigation to determine whether the proposed conservatorship is necessary. The judge appoints a conservator of the person to be responsible for the conservatee’s care and protection and/or a conservator of the estate to be responsible for the conservatee’s finances.

Because courts exercise a great deal of supervision over conservatorships, it is wise to avoid the potential need for a conservatorship through the use of a durable power of attorney for financial matters and advance health care directive. However, as an individual cannot execute these documents after they are incapacitated, a conservatorship may be the only option in some circumstances.

A Walnut Creek Conservatorship & Guardianship Attorney at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP knows the process and can help potential conservators, conservatees, and other interested parties quickly navigate or avoid, when possible, the conservatorship process. To learn more about conservatorships, please see Options for People Who Are Incapacitated.

California Guardianships

A guardianship is similar in many ways to a conservatorship. However, while conservators are appointed for incapacitated adults, guardians are appointed for minor children. Normally the parents of a minor child nominate a guardian to care for the child if the parents die or are incapacitated. They may also set up a trust to provide for the care of the child with the help of a trust or guardianship attorney in Walnut Creek. If the parents die or become incapacitated, the court normally defers to the nomination made by the parents when appointing a guardian.

However, when there is no such estate plan in place, a California superior court must exercise its independent judgment and appoint a guardian of the person to have custody of the child and a guardian of the estate to administer any significant property. The court only appoints an individual as a guardian if it is in the best interest of the child. A knowledgeable Walnut Creek guardianship lawyer at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP can help potential guardians provide the court and investigating agency with all required information and thereby protect the interests of the child.

Walnut Creek Conservatorship & Guardianship Attorney providing solutions for incapacity

The Walnut Creek Conservatorship & Guardianship Attorneys of Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP have experience helping clients deal with the multitude of legal issues relating to incapacitated elderly adults and parents of minor children. Our San Jose guardianship attorneys are available to consult with clients at our offices — located at 2502 Stevens Creek Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95128 and 140 Town and Country Dr, Danville, CA 94526 — or at any other convenient location. Call our San Jose office at 408-998-9500 or our Danville office at 408-998-9500 or contact Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP online today.