Conservatorships in California and Mental Illness
What is a conservatorship? This is a provision that is made to care for financial and other matters when a person is determined by the courts to be incapable of caring for his or herself. But does this mean that you are doomed to a conservatorship being put in place if you are suffering from a mental illness? Not necessarily. Here are a couple of things to consider:
- In order for a conservatorship to be forced upon a person, they must be “gravely disabled.” While it is up to the court to determine what that means, there has to be proof that you can’t take proper care of yourself due to the mental illness.
- There must be proof that you cannot provide for your own basic needs. Basic needs include acquiring things such as clothing, food, and shelter. In many cases, a person suffering from a mental illness can still hold down a job, find a place for rent, afford suitable clothing, and keep the pantry stocked.
There are cases when mental illness can be so severe that a person is unable to obtain these necessities properly. For example, an uncontrolled case of schizophrenia may leave a person homeless and severely deprived of proper food or clothing. On the other hand, someone else with the exact same condition may experience similar symptoms but have it under control to the point of being able to function autonomously.