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Let's Talk: Conservatorship 101

Three years ago, Britney Spears broke the internet-but not in the way you would expect. After a messy divorce, a custody battle for her children, and several public incidents, her actions began to concern fans and loved ones. Her father was named her conservator by the courts, but the conservatorship was eventually lifted, after a very public battle.


On the flip side, Jay Leno filed for conservatorship of his wife to protect their assets, as she struggled with dementia. Another talk show host, Wendy Williams, was placed under the protection of a conservator and a guardian after dementia rendered her incapacitated. 

The mix of high-profile stories on conservatorships have created many misperceptions. LifeCare Wellness wants to dispel the myths and share the truth about the protections that ensure the physical and financial health of the vulnerable. In this article, we want to provide a conservatorship crash course to provide a better understanding on the basics of conservatorship and the role of a conservator.

Conservatorship 101

As mentioned in a previous blog post, a conservator is a person appointed by the court to manage the financial affairs of an individual, while a guardian manages their day-to-day living and care. This individual might struggle with dementia, substance abuse, and/or mental illness and has been deemed legally incapacitated; a state where an individual does not have the ability, to make or communicate responsible decisions. While the symptoms vary from patient to patient, it's important for loved ones to recognize them before they become a danger to themselves and possibly others. Some telltale signs of a loved one who might be declining include...



• Increased cognitive decline

• Repetitiveness behavior

• Over payment or non-payment of bills

•  Inability to remember basic words


Substance abuse:

• Changes in physical appearance or evidence of drug use

• Increased involvement with EMS or police

• Risky behavior to feed habit

• Inattentiveness to appearance and hygiene


Mental illness:

• Extreme mood swings

• Sudden withdrawal from family/friends

• Risky or addictive behavior


Some of the paths families should explore when their loved one is in crisis include: increased family involvement, intervention, and meeting with their health care provider to address potential updates to their treatment plan. To learn more about additional paths, check out our blog by clicking here or visit our website at

If you recognize these symptoms in your loved one and these other paths have proven unsuccessful, LifeCare Wellness can help.

Role of a conservator (what you need to know)

The most frequently asked question we get on conservatorships is 'what are the responsibilities/role' of a conservator? Unlike a guardian, who helps with the day-to-day care of a loved one in need, a conservator is responsible for their finances. Some of the responsibilities of a conservator include creating budgets, paying bills on time, collecting debts and deposits, paying for care, and reporting finances to court for accountability.


At LifeCare Wellness, the conservatorship process begins with a discrete pre-screening assessment that allows our licensed social workers to determine whether or not your loved one is a candidate for conservatorship. If they are, LifeCare Wellness is ready to assist you and your loved ones through every step of the journey. For more information about the steps of the conservatorship process, click here.



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