“Maureen” came in to our Walnut Creek office to inquire about our assisting her in becoming the Conservator for her mother. Her mother was 72, but her family had begun noticing her forgetfulness a decade earlier. They had laughed about it at first—her habit of frequently misplacing her keys, then finding them in the unlikeliest of places, including the refrigerator or the shower stall. Maureen’s mother’s forgetfulness was worrisome for her family as it became more progressive. The father was also in poor health and was not able to help or monitor the mother’s behavior, and it became increasingly erratic; she was carelessly charging things to their credit cards that they would never use.
She drove to a local event one night and couldn’t find her way home. She drove around for three hours before being pulled over by a policeman for reckless driving. The policeman drove her home and talked to Maureen about her mother. It was at this point that the family faced the reality of their mother’s dementia.
When a neurologist confirmed her condition as advanced dementia, Maureen knew it was time for an intervention. Maureen and her husband lived with her mother and father in their Brentwood home, and they had been acting as their caregivers. She wanted our assistance in creating and filing the legal documents with the court that would make her and her father Co-Conservators for her mother. She felt that her father would be more comfortable with what she was doing if they shared the Co-Conservatorship role.
Maureen filled out our Conservatorship workbook and took it home to review with her father. We created the legal documents and filed them with the court. Part of the Conservatorship process involves scheduling an investigator who goes to the home to ensure that everything is in the best interests of the mother. The investigator then reports back to the court. This critical step verifies that the person for whom the Conservatorship is being created is not being exploited in any way.
Conservatorships can be trying for all concerned—generally the family members who take this legal step so they can manage the care and finances of a family member who can no longer do this for him/herself. Having California Document Preparers prepare and file legal documents can take a huge burden off the family.
A final note: Maureen was realistic and looking ahead; she knew that she was ultimately going to be responsible for both of her parents. She asked about the process for becoming her father’s Power of Attorney. She realized that her father’s declining health meant that soon she would be paying bills, dealing with finances and making other decisions for both of her parents. We gave her the workbook for her father to fill out for his Power of Attorney.
If you’re considering a Conservatorship for someone in your family, contact one of our three Bay Area offices today to talk to one of our specialists. While this can be an emotional time, we help our clients through this process. Helpful. Compassionate. Affordable.
Read more about the role and responsibilities of a Conservator.