The legal battle unfolding between Britney Spears and her father over control of her finances has cast a spotlight on the obscure legal process known as conservatorship.
What is a conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a court proceeding at which a probate judge appoints a person to assume legal responsibility over someone, usually a close relative, who lacks the ability to manage their personal and financial affairs, according to the Judicial Council of California’s Handbook for Conservators. People under conservatorship, known as conservatees, are often elderly. But they can also be younger people beset by emotional disturbances, mental disorders or physical impairments.
Conservators, also called guardians, come in two types. The conservator of a person is authorized to manage a conservatee’s personal affairs. They are responsible for providing meals, clothing, housekeeping, transportation and recreation and other everyday needs. Courts may also appoint a conservator of the estate who manages the finances, pays the bills and protects assets.
What is going on with Britney Spears’s conservatorship?
Ms. Spears’s father, Jamie, has held control over Ms. Spears’s estate through a conservatorship created in Los Angeles courts in 2008, when her personal struggles spilled into public view, according to the Associated Press.
Ms. Spears has publicly acknowledged that the conservatorship was necessary at the time. In recent months, she has moved to shift control away from her father, according to the AP. A Hulu and FX documentary also recently highlighted Ms. Spears’s case.
Source: WSJ – US News