Below is the process of working with our firm to obtain a conservatorship for your loved one.
Step 1. Schedule an initial planning session with Meier Law Firm to determine if a conservatorship is appropriate and what type of conservatorship is needed. Once scheduled, our office will send you a welcome packet that includes a questionnaire for you to complete and send back before the initial planning session, so we can prepare for our time together.
Step 2. Attend initial planning session. At the initial planning session, we will learn more about your family, give you an overview of a conservatorship process, determine if a conservatorship is appropriate, and decide if you would like our firm to assist you in obtaining the conservatorship. If you engage our firm, then we will then set signing date about to 2-3 weeks out for you sign the paperwork to file the Petition for Conservatorship.
Step 3. Prepare and sign Petition for Conservatorship and related documents. Our office will begin preparing the Petition for Conservatorship and all related documents. We may contact you if there is any additional information that we need from you or other parties to complete the petition. Once the petition is completed, then you can sign the documents and we will file them with the court. The court documents may be signed in person, electronically, or mailed to our office depending on your preference.
Step 4. The Court will set a hearing date on the conservatorship. The hearing date is usually set about 3-6 months after the petition has been filed depending on the court’s calendar. Once the hearing date is set, we will need to mail a copy of the Petition for Conservatorship to all family members within a 2nd degree of the proposed conservator. We will also need to personally serve the proposed conservatee with a copy of the petition – we will arrange so service is made a convenient time for you.
Step 5. Third parties will conduct interviews and file paperwork with the court. The proposed conservative’s doctor and the regional center will need to complete reports discussing whether they think a conservatorship is appropriate. They will be sent the necessary paperwork, but it is helpful for you to contact them as well to make sure they timely submit the paperwork. The court will appoint an attorney to represent the conservatee and a court investigator. The attorney and investigator’s roles are to make sure that a conservatorship is necessary and that the proposed conservators are a good fit. The attorney and investigator will likely interview you and the proposed conservatee, and may also contact relatives, doctors, or the regional center. The investigator may make an appointment with you but may show up at your house unannounced. They are typically very nice and understanding of the situation, so it is not something you need to be worried about.
Step 6. Attend conservator class, if applicable. In many counties, all proposed conservators are required to attend a class on conservatorships. The class is usually held once a week at the courthouse during the late afternoon and typically lasts about 2 hours.
Step 7. Review probate notes. Most counties will provide notes before the hearing to let us know if they need any additional information or if they have not received certain paperwork. This gives us a time to submit supplemental paperwork to the court before the hearing date.
Step 8. Attend conservatorship hearing. You will want to arrive at the courthouse about 15 minutes before the hearing start time to allow yourself time to park and walk to the courthouse. All proposed conservators and the proposed conservatee should attend the hearing unless the conservative’s doctor has recommended that the conservatee should not attend due to their medical condition. There will likely be many matters on the court’s calendar. When your case is called you will want to stand up and come to the table area with your attorney. The attorney will let the court know who is present. The court will then ask for clarification if it has any questions and then if all paperwork is in place, the court will grant the petition for conservatorship. The court will usually set a review hearing about 4-5 weeks out to make sure that all post-hearing documents are on file. If the documents on file, then there will not be a need to appear at the hearing.
Step 9. File post-hearing documents and obtain Letters of Conservatorship. After the hearing there, a few documents that need to be filed with the court. The court will also issue Letters of Conservatorship, which are the documents that you will use to show others that you have the legal authority to make decisions for the conservatee.
Step 10. It may take up to 4 weeks for the court to submit the Letters of Conservatorship, so we recommend that any doctor or IEP meetings be scheduled at least 4 weeks after the hearing date, if possible. The appointment of conservatorship is for life and no additional court appearances are needed unless there is a change in circumstance.