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Probate Conservatorship

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Probate Conservatorship is when a judge appoints someone to decide where you live or what to do with your property.

Legal Basis

According to the Probate Code, a conservator may be appointed "for a person who is unable to provide properly for his or her personal needs for physical health, food, clothing or shelter" or for persons "substantially unable" to manage their financial resources "or resist fraud or undue influence."


To protect and arrange care for the conservatee, to protect their rights and manage their financial resources.

How Long Does It Take?

Probate matters can take a month or much longer to decide.

Who Is Appointed Conservator?

The Public Guardian is appointed on petitions it files.  Probate conservatorship petitions may be filed by private individuals or by agencies on their own behalf.


A probate conservatorship is indefinite; however, the conservatee or conservator may petition the court for termination at any time.

Persons/Ages Served

Probate conservatorship is restricted to adults, age 18 and older who meet the legal basis described above.

Medical Treatment

The court often grants to the conservator the exclusive authority to make most medical decisions, such as surgeries, but not involuntary mental health treatment decisions.

Living Arrangements/Placement

The conservator is usually authorized to place the conservatee anywhere in California consistent with treatment needs, except in a mental health treatment facility.