If you are concerned about your elderly parent's mental or physical capacity in making sound decisions, consider applying for conservator. In California, your parent can nominate someone to become conservator. When no one is named, you can file a petition for conservatorship. After filing the petition, a court investigator will talk to your parent to assess the need for conservatorship. The court will appoint the proposed conservator, unless it is not in your parent's best interests. Setting up conservatorship is a long process, initiated by filing the petition.
Review the types of conservatorship. A conservator of the person cares for the person and makes medical decisions. The conservator of the estate handles financial matters. Being appointed conservator of the person does not automatically give you control over the parent's estate.Step 2
Obtain the Petition for the Appointment of Probate Conservator. Forms are available at your local county courthouse, law library or online through the California Judicial Branch website.Step 3
Check the box indicating the type of conservatorship you are requesting. If you want to be appointed conservator of both, you will need to check both boxes on the petition.Step 4
Identify yourself as the petitioner. Write your name and address.Step 5
Complete information about your parent. Write your parent's name and address. Answer whether or not your parent is a resident of California.Step 6
Answer questions pertaining to the petitioner. Confirm you are not a creditor or debtor. Check the box that states you are a relative. List your relationship as "child."Step 7
State the reason why your parent requires a conservator. You can attach a separate document providing supporting facts or write directly on the petition.Step 8
List the names of your parent's living relatives to your knowledge. Include his spouse, parent, children, grandchildren and siblings. Provide the address and relationship to your parent. The petition provides a space for up to 15 relatives, but allows you to include an attachment if you need to list more.Step 9
Sign and date the petition, swearing the information you provide is true and correct.Step 10
File your completed petition with the clerk of the California probate court. A court hearing will be scheduled.Step 11
Pay the filing fee and investigator's fee.Step 12
Inform your parent you are petitioning for conservator. Someone else must personally deliver a citation and a copy of the petition to your parent.Step 13
Ask someone else to mail a written notice about the court hearing along with a copy of the petition to your parent's spouse and close relatives.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.