Recently an Atlanta judge ruled that Bobby Brown and Pat Houston are to be co-guardians of Bobbi Kristina and that an Atlanta based attorney was to be the conservator of her estate.
Conservators can be of the estate and of the person. A conservator of the estate manages the money on behalf of the conservatee. A conservator of the person is responsible for making the “life” decisions of the conservatee. Frequently one person has both titles. However, it is not unusual for the roles to be split.
Obtaining a conservatorship requires court approval. In California, some people refer to conservatorships as living probates because many of the requirements to become a conservator are the same as to become an executor/administrator. Moreover, the reporting requirements of the conservator are similar to those that the executor/administrator has in a probate.
Generally speaking a properly prepared and executed power of attorney and a properly prepared and executed advance health care directive can be utilized instead of conservatorship. In essence, those two documents are proactive measures against the requirement of a conservatorship. Conservatorships are a reactive procedure. Essentially, for there to be a conservatorship, the proposed conservatee must be incompetent and the proposed conservator petitions a court to serve in that position.
It is rare that someone Bobbi Kristina’s age has signed a power of attorney and/or an advance health care directive. However, her incredibly unfortunate situation allows estate planning attorneys an opportunity to illustrate the benefits of proper planning at any age.