What does the court investigator do prior to a conservatorship?

For a Californian who is aging or has experienced a life event that leaves them unable to oversee their affairs, a conservatorship might be necessary. Under the conservatorship, the person – the conservatee – will be protected by someone who has been appointed to fill the role. This is a significant responsibility and there is an enormous level of trust that is required. It is imperative to remember that the primary objective is to protect the person. To achieve that, the court will have a court investigator to provide evenhanded information. For everyone involved, it is imperative to know what the court investigator does.

How is the court investigator involved?

The judge in the conservatorship case will want to know the person is being protected and not taken advantage of. To achieve that, it will have a court investigator. Before the conservatorship has been established, the investigator will contact the proposed conservator to plan a meeting. The meeting will discuss the conservatorship, how it will be handled and the goals. The investigator will also interview the conservatee.

These interviews are meant to explain what the conservatorship entails, how the hearing to establish it is handled, what the conservatee can do if they are against the conservatorship and more. If, for example, the prospective conservatee wants a specific person to be the conservator, that will be discussed. Changing the proposed conservator can also be an issue. In some cases, the conservator could ask for a jury trial to determine if the conservatorship is even necessary.

Many proposed conservatees have obstacles that prevent them from understanding or opining on the case. The investigator can gauge the person’s condition and even look at medical records to help with coming to a decision. In short, the investigator will scrutinize the case and give information to the judge so an informed assessment can be made as to the viability of the conservatorship.

Legal guidance can be beneficial

Conservatorships can be difficult to navigate. The court investigator is not there in an accusatory role. Their job is to give the court information regarding the conservatorship to ensure that the conservatee’s needs are being met. People who need a conservatorship should be aware of the importance of a court investigator before and after it is established. They should cooperate and give all the necessary information. Still, with these cases, it is not uncommon for challenges to arise. People who are in this situation should have legal guidance throughout the process to ensure the desired outcome is reached.