A conservatorship is a legal status, which arises when a person (or organization) requests a judge to appoint him/ her to protect and manage another’s care or finances. The person or organization appointed is called the “conservator.” The person who will be cared for or otherwise provided for is called the “conservatee.” In many cases, elderly individuals, or individuals regardless of age who have mental or physical incapacities are conservatees. Some conservatees need help because they cannot provide for their own hygiene, nutritional needs, or home care.Some need help with their finances, bill payment, and/or investments.  

Conservators may be family members, friends, or professional organizations that specialize in assisting others. For example, local non-profit organizations with departments that service the elderly may serve as conservators. The Judicial Council of California and many California courts publish brochures, which explain the role of conservators and provide information on initiating the conservatorship process. For more information, contact:  

  • Alameda County Bar Association, 70 Washington Street, Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94607, 510-302-ACBA (2222)  
  • Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-865-7745