A conservatorship is a court case in which a judge appoints a family member, or other responsible person (called a conservator), to care for another adult who cannot care for him or herself (called a conservatee).

Once you are appointed conservator, you are legally responsible to provide care for the conservatee’s daily needs. Conservatorships are processed in the probate department located on the second floor of the Historic Courthouse.

There are several types of conservatorships, the most common of which are:

General Probate Conservatorship

For adults who cannot provide for their own personal needs due to physical injury, dementia, or other reasons that make them incapable of caring for themselves or making them subject to undue influence.

Limited Conservatorship

Only for a person who is developmentally disabled. The powers are limited so the person may live as independently as possible.

If you are Conservator of the Person, this means you:

  • Arrange for the conservatee’s care and protection;

  • Decide where the conservatee will live; and

  • Are in charge of health care, food, clothes, personal care, housekeeping, transportation, and recreation on behalf of the conservatee.

If you are the Conservator of the Estate, this means you:

  • Manage all the conservatee’s finances;

  • Protect the conservatee’s income and property;

  • Make an inventory of everything in the estate;

  • Make a plan to make sure the conservatee’s needs are met;

  • Make sure the conservatee’s bills are paid;

  • Make sure the taxes are filed and paid on time;

  • Keep exact financial records;

  • Make regular reports of the financial accounts to the court and other interested persons.

You can request to become a temporary conservator when a person needs immediate help (emergency situations only), but you must file the petition for appointment of probate conservator (permanent orders), simultaneously.  If appointed by the court, you will have most of the same duties and powers that a permanent conservator has.  A temporary conservator will last for a specific time period, until you or someone else can be appointed as the permanent conservator.

Forms to begin a Conservatorship

The forms required to obtain an appointment as a conservator are listed below.  You can click here to view/download them: http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm. You may also find it helpful to download the Conservatorship Handbook at: http://www.courts.ca.gov/handbook.pdf, which contains a lot of useful information.  A packet containing the necessary forms is available for purchase at the probate division of the Superior Court of California, County of Tuolumne.

  • Petition for Appointment of Probate Conservator

  • Attachment Re: Special Orders Regarding Dementia

  • Capacity Declaration (Must be completed prior to court hearing.)

  • Confidential Supplemental Information

  • Confidential Conservator Screening Form

  • Declaration Re: Conservatorship Trust Accounts

  • Probate Investigators Referral Report

  • Probate Investigators Referral Report

  • Duties of Conservator

  • Citation for Conservatorship and Proof of Service

  • Order Appointing Probate Conservator

  • Letters of Conservatorship

  • Notice of Hearing

Where can I get help?

Being a conservator can be a confusing and overwhelming process.  You may need legal advice that can only be provided by an attorney.  You can also find information regarding conservatorships by visiting: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1300.htm, as well as:

  • www.lawhelpcalifornia.org

  • www.nolo.com

  • www.feelegalselfhelp.com

© 2009 Superior Court of California, County of Tuolumne