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In United States law, conservatorship is when a protector or guardian is appointed by a court judge to manage the financial affairs for another person. This is usually because that person is old or has physical or mental health problems.[1] People in a conservatorship are called conservatees. Conservatees are usually adults. A person in guardianship is called a "ward". The term ward is usually used in reference to minors (people under age 18). Conservatorship may also be used for corporations or organizations.

Appointment of conservatorships[change | change source]

Conservatorship refers to the legal responsibility over a person who has a certain mental disorder or a physical health problem. This includes people affected with psychosis, suicidal ideation, certain levels of autism or in some other way are not able to make medical, financial or legal decisions for themselves.[2]

In relation to the government control of businesses and corporations, like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, conservatorship means more temporary control than does nationalization.

Conservatorship controversy[change | change source]

A recent example of conservatorship controversy is that involving the American pop singer-songwriter Britney Spears. She was put into conservatorship by her father in 2008. The year before, Britney had a mental breakdown. Spears also shaved her head and hit paparazzi with an umbrella. In late 2008, the conservatorship was made permanent. It triggered the Free Britney movement.

In California there are two forms of conservatorship. The Lanterman-Petris-Short conservatorship starts off being temporary. This one is renewed every year if necessary. A probate conservatorship does not have a temporary period. It does not automatically expire.[3] Spears is in the latter (the probate form of conservatorship).

Spears has wanted the conservatorship to be dissolved because, she says, her father uses it to abuse and exploit her.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. "What is a Conservatorship". Expert Law. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  2. "Finally a Bridge to Somewhere". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  3. "How are Lanterman-Petris-Short and Probate Conservatorships Different". Probate Division - Los Angeles Superior Court. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  4. "US House of Representatives Introduces Bill to End Conservatorship Abuse". The Guardian UK. Retrieved July 22, 2021.