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What is a conservatorship?

A Conservatorship may be needed for an individual over the age of 18 who needs assistance with taking care of medical or personal matters (Conservatorship of the Person) and/or financial matters (Conservatorship of the Estate). In these instances the court appoints a "conservator" to assist these individuals. There are three types of Conservatorships: Limited, General, and Lanterman-Petris-Short (also known as LPS or mental health Conservatorships). Because of the sensitive nature of many LPS Conservatorships, the FAQ below will only include information on Limited and General Conservatorships. If you would like to know more about LPS Conservatorships please call our office at (858) 689-0613.

What is the difference between Limited and General Conservatorships?

Limited Conservatorships are filed when the potential conservatee is a Regional Center Consumer and has a developmental disability. The conservator may ask for any of 7 specific powers that are needed to assist the proposed conservator:

  1. To fix the residence or dwelling;
  2. To access confidential records;
  3. To consent to marriage;
  4. To contract;
  5. To give or withhold medical consent;
  6. To control social and sexual contacts and relationships;
  7. To decide on education.

General Conservatorships are for all other individuals over the age of 18.

How long does it take to file a Conservatorship?

The entire Conservatorship process can take anywhere from 2-4 months. However, the process could be shorter or longer depending on individual circumstances and the courts schedule.

Can I file for a Conservatorship before my child is 18?

Yes, in fact we often recommend that parents who are filing Conservatorships on behalf of their child begin the process six months before they turn 18. Then the conservatorship can be in place once the child turns 18.

Who can file to be a Conservator?

It is often the parents or other family members who file for a Conservatorship. Sometimes a professional fiduciary may be appointed as conservator of the person and/or the estate depending on the situation.

Can more than one person be a Conservator?

Yes, parents often file to be Co-Conservators of their adult child.

What is the difference between guardianships and Conservatorships?

In California, guardianships are needed when an individual is under the age of 18. Conservatorships are for individuals over 18. Guardianships can also be of the person or the estate or both.

Does your office do guardianships?

Yes, we do!

How much do Guardianships or Conservatorships cost?

Since every situation is different, it would be nearly impossible to give a single price for our Conservatorships or Guardianships. However, for those who are not in a position to afford the help of an attorney, the Legal Aid Society gives free clinics on filing Conservatorships.

How do I get more information?

For more information on Conservatorships and Guardianships please call our office or refer to the San Diego Superior court's website:

San Diego Superior Court Conservatorship Info
San Diego Guardianship Info

If you would like to make a conservatorship or guardianship appointment or have additional questions, please call our office at (858) 689-0613 or email us your through our contact form.

* The information presented is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice on your specific situation.