What are the pros and cons of conservatorship vs not getting it and what are the recommendations? When considering whether conservatorship is the best option for your loved one you should know the pros and cons of seeking a conservatorship.
There are many pros for establishing a LPS conservatorship over your loved one. The LPS conservatorship is the most restrictive of all conservatorships. LPS conservatorship grants the conservator the right to make psychiatric medical decisions on behalf of the conservatee whereas a probate conservatorship and limited conservatorship do not permit the conservator to force the conservatee to take psychotropic medication. This is a big deal for many since family members often spend years fighting their loved ones on making them take their necessary medication.
The conservator can also mandate that the conservatee be in a closed locked treatment where regular conservatorships do not permit the conservatee to be placed in a closed locked facility against their will. If the conservatee objects the conservator can still mandate that the conservatee be in a closed locked facility. This ensures that your loved one does not stray or leave the facility against their own best interest.
The LPS conservator has the right to see all of the conservatee's medical documents and have an input into what treatment the conservatee receives. The conservator may speak to the doctor about the conservatee's prognosis and recommend treatment options for the conservatee. Probate conservators and limited conservators do have some medical decision making powers but they are limited to regular medical decisions.
The time it takes for an LPS conservatorship to be established is short compared to probate conservatorships, but the process itself is quite complex. LPS conservatorships are managed by the county. Whereas probate conservatorships can be initiated by anyone, LPS conservatorship referrals may only be sent in by a psychiatrist. The patient or a family member cannot make a recommendation to the public conservator to start a case. The family member will usually be turned away or told that their loved one needs to be in a treatment facility such as a hospital before an LPS conservatorship can be initiated.
Due to such a high case load the public conservator is often fairly conservative in who they conserve. If a person demonstrates reasonable efforts to take care of themselves or comport themselves for the brief time of the interview or hospitalization the public conservator will dismiss the case. They tend to conserve those who have had a long outstanding psychiatric history. They consider how gravely disabled the conservatee presents.
LPS conservatorship is not for life as the probate code allows for limited and probate conservatorships. It must be renewed annually with the courts. Fortunately, if the conservator present sufficient evidence the conservatee is benefitting and still GD the courts will continue the conservatorship for another year.
There are many pros to seeking a conservatorship but it is important to be aware of what challenges lie with LPS conservatorship.
Juvenile Dependency and