There are 3 types of probate conservatorships that can be obtained in the San Diego Probate Court.
- The first is the general conservatorship of a person where the Probate Court gives a responsible person (the conservator) the ability to take care of another person (the conservatee) or to manage someone’s financial affairs. With a conservatorship of the person, the conservator takes care of the conservatee’s health care, housing, food, clothing, and other personal needs. A conservatorship of the estate pays the conservatee’s bills, taxes, asssets and manages other aspects of finances.
- A limited conservatorship is one that is set up for a developmentally disabled adult. If an adult with developmental disabilities is unable to care for himself or herself or their property in certain ways but not to the extent of needing a regular conservatorship, a limited conservatorship may be appropriate. The difference between a limited conservatorship and a general conservatorship is that a limited conservatorship is only available to adults with developmental disabilities. This could be something like autism, a brain injury at birth such as cerebral palsy or mental retardation, or other disability that arose before the age of 18, which is expected to continue indefinitely and constitutes a substantial handicap. The handicap could be in the area of self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity to live independently, or economic self-sufficiency. Some of the powers that can be granted to the limited conservator are the power to decide living arrangements, the power to a sign a contract, and the power to make decisions about education or health care.
- A third type of conservatorship is one under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act for persons who are gravely disabled. “Gravely disabled”means a person, who as a result of a mental disorder or chronic addiction is unable to provide for their personal needs for food, clothing, or shelter. Usually this type of conservatorship is necessary for an individual who is seriously mentally ill or needs specialized care.