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Conservatorship Update: New California Law Mandating Care Plans for Conservatees

General May 14, 2024

In a significant move aimed at safeguarding the rights and welfare of conservatees, California has enacted a pioneering law requiring conservators to develop comprehensive care plans for their wards. This legislative milestone represents a critical stride toward ensuring dignified treatment and proper care for individuals under conservatorship. Unfortunately, the job of a conservator is a difficult one, requiring court supervision, bonds, and accountings. This new additional obligation is intended to ensure the conservatee has the care he or she needs, but no doubt it will also create an additional administrative and legal burden on the person serving as a conservator.

The recent California legislation mandates that conservators, court-appointed individuals tasked with managing the personal and financial affairs of those deemed incapable, must now create and execute detailed care plans for their conservatees. These care plans are intended to address various facets of the conservatee’s life, encompassing medical needs, living arrangements, social engagement, and overall quality of life.

Upholding Dignity

The law is founded on the principle that conservatees, often facing physical or mental challenges, deserve to be treated with dignity and provided with the highest standard of care. By compelling conservators to formulate comprehensive care plans, the legislature aims to ensure that conservatees receive the attention and support necessary for their well-being.

The catalyst behind the legislative change is the belief that care plans promote a holistic approach to conservatee well-being. Instead of solely focusing on financial matters, conservators are now obligated to consider the conservatee’s physical health, mental well-being, and social interactions. The law underscores a commitment to preserving the dignity and autonomy of conservatees. By delineating specific care objectives and preferences, conservators are encouraged to tailor their approach to each conservatee’s unique needs, fostering a more personalized and respectful form of guardianship.

From a court’s perspective, the introduction of care plans hopefully establishes a new level of accountability in the conservatorship supervision process. Plans must be submitted to the court for approval, providing a mechanism for oversight. This not only ensures compliance with the law but also enables the court to intervene if the care provided does not meet the established standards.

This law comes in response to high-profile conservatorship cases that have drawn public attention and raised concerns about existing legal frameworks. These cases have prompted a reevaluation of the rights and treatment of individuals subject to conservatorship, necessitating a proactive response from lawmakers.

In light of these developments, California’s new law represents a proactive effort to address concerns raised by advocates, legal experts, and the public. By requiring conservators to draft detailed care plans, the legislation aims to promote transparency, accountability, and a more person-centered approach in conservatorship proceedings.

California’s new law mandating care plans for conservatees is a significant step towards upholding dignity and ensuring proper care for vulnerable individuals. By compelling conservators to adopt a comprehensive and personalized approach to their responsibilities, the law reflects a commitment to higher standards of care. As this legislation is implemented, it is important to acknowledge its potential to serve as a model for other jurisdictions grappling with similar challenges in conservatorship. Ultimately, the law stands as a testament to California’s dedication to protecting the rights and promoting the welfare of its most vulnerable citizens.

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Ms. Minto has been a business and estates transactional attorney based in California since 2003. Her practice is now located in Tustin, CA but represents individuals and entities based throughout the United States and abroad. Phone: (949) 253-0000, Email:


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