Conservatorship / Guardianship

Adults with developmental disabilities often need someone to establish a conservatorship to assist them with making important life decisions. At Waterson Huth & Associates our experienced special needs attorneys can help concerned parties who seek a conservatorship for an adult. Our attorneys also work with clients seeking similar protections through guardianships for a child.


Being appointed guardian of a child allows you, a family member, family friend, to be involved in medical, education, and other decision-making issues when the child’s legal parents are unable to do so.


There are three types of conservatorships in California:

  • General Conservatorship
  • Limited Conservatorship
  • Lanterman-Petris-Short Conservatorship

All of these conservatorships can be of the Person and/or Estate.

General Conservatorship

General conservatorships are sought for individuals 18 years of age or older who are no longer able to manage his or her own financial and/or personal affairs. The probate court can appoint an individual (the conservator) to act on behalf of the incapacitated person (the conservatee). The establishment of a conservatorship restricts the conservatee’s powers over financial and/or personal decisions.

Limited Conservatorship

Limited conservatorships were created specifically for people overseeing the welfare of adults with developmental disabilities. Without a conservatorship, the parents of a dependent adult cannot legally make medical, educational or other decisions on their behalf. In this type of conservatorship, the conservator is granted any of seven enumerated powers, including:

  • The power to fix residence
  • The power of consent or withhold medical consent
  • The power to contract
  • The power to consent or withhold consent to marriage or domestic partnership
  • The power to access confidential papers and documents
  • The power to make educational decisions
  • The power to control social and sexual relationships

The powers granted to the conservator by the court depends on the strengths and abilities of the conservatee.

Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Conservatorship

Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) conservatorships are designed for persons with mental illness. Initial LPS conservatorship petitions can only be filed by the Public Guardian’s Office and the appointment must be renewed annually. We can represent the conservator with the renewal process. If the court appoints a conservator of the person and estate, we can assist with the estate administration.