Caring for a loved one can quickly become complicated if that California resident is an adult who can no longer make decisions alone. In order to properly care for him or her, it will more than likely be necessary to establish a conservatorship. As is the case with all conservatorships, the court may assign a court investigator to look into a petition to help ensure that the rights of the conservatee are protected.
The investigator will set up at least one visit with the prospective conservator and conservatee to evaluate the situation. It may be necessary to have more than one visit in order for the investigator to provide the court with a thorough report. The court also tasks the investigator with determining whether the future conservatee understands what is going on. what it will mean for him or her and that he or she may attend the hearing and object to the conservatorship.
Even after the conservatorship is established, the court investigator’s role does not end. At the one year anniversary of the conservator’s appointment, the investigator will conduct a follow up inquiry to ensure that the conservator is properly fulfilling his or her duties and that the conservatee is doing well. Thereafter, such inquiries will only occur every couple of years unless the investigator says otherwise and the court agrees.
Conservatorships require a significant amount of oversight and paperwork. Considering the importance of such an undertaking, it may be a mistake to go into the process, and a visit with the court investigator, without some preparation and an understanding of what is to come. California residents who wish to undertake the duties of a conservator may benefit from going through the investigation process with an attorney with experience in these matters.