Mother with disabled son in walker

  • My mom has dementia and the doctor wouldn’t let me make medical decisions for her. What should I do?
  • My son has autism and is turning 18. The regional center said I need to get a conservatorship for him. What is that?
  • My daughter got into a car accident and was declared unconscious. I want to be able to liquidate her assets to pay for her medical bills. How can I do that?


A conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the “conservator”) to care for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances or medical decisions.

Who Needs Conservatorship

 Generally, conservatorships are established for someone who is in a coma or vegetative state, suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s disease, developmental disorder such as autism, or has other serious illnesses or injuries.

Types of Conservatorship

There are different types of conservatorship depending on the seriousness of the condition. For example, “limited conservatorship” is generally for people with developmental disabilities such as autism and often applies to clients of the regional center. “General conservatorship” is often used in other types of situations such as when a senior has dementia.

Also, if a court appoints someone to take care of the finances of another person, the appointed person is called a “conservator of the estate.” If a court appoints someone to take care of the medical and personal decisions of another person, the appointed person is called a “conservatorship of the person.”

Hsiao Law, PC is here to help you determine what type of conservatorship you need to achieve your goals.

 Conservatorship Process

 Setting up a conservatorship is a long and complex process. Please have patience as you go through it. You start the process by filing a petition with the court with all the necessary forms and fees. Then, you need to inform the proposed conservatee, i.e., the person who you want to be able to make legal, financial and medical decisions for. You also need to inform all the proposed conservatee’s relatives. This is so that they get a fair chance to object or agree to the proposed conservator. The court takes it very seriously when it comes to taking away the independence and autonomy of a person. Then, a court investigator will talk to the proposed conservatee to help the judge make a decision. Lastly, at the hearing, the judge will decide whether a conservatorship is necessary and what degree of power is needed.

 CA Court resources

For more information, please check out CA superior court’s self-help website at

 Hsiao Law, PC is here to help you navigate through the complicated conservatorship court process. Please call our office at 858-386-0998 or email us at