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  • Writer's pictureDuisters Law, APC

When the Court Investigator Comes-a-knockin'. Part 2.

In part 1, the court investigator came-a-knocking to investigate new conservatorship petitions filed with the court. What most people don't realize, is the court investigator will visit again, and again, and again.

A conservatorship of the person lasts for the life of the conserved person ("conservatee"), or until the court terminates it (which is done by request of the conservatee or an interested party, if the proper circumstances are warranted). In Limited Conservatorships of the person, the death of either the conservatee or conservator(s) will end the conservatorship automatically (for more on the difference between General and Limited Conservatorships read here). During the life of the case, the court investigator will conduct a review investigation after the first year, then biennially thereafter. What does that mean?

Once a conservatorship is in place, the court must ensure it remains necessary and the least restrictive alternative for the conservatee. The court must also be made aware of any objections the conservatee might have and must ensure the conservators are acting in the best interests of the conservatee. The court investigator is charged with determining this information and reporting his/her findings to the court throughout the life of the case.

Probate code section 1851 states the investigator is to visit the conservatee without prior notice to the conservator(s). That means, the investigator will show up unannounced to your home, the conservatee's day program, school or place of business. The investigator must interview the conservator(s) and first degree relatives to uncover any concerns and/or harmful situations affecting the conservatee.

If you are a conservator, it behooves you to cooperate with the investigator. Remember he or she is there for the conservatee's benefit and protection, not to make your life miserable. If all is well, the investigator will bid you a good day and you won't hear from him/her for another two years. As conservator, you will receive a copy of the investigative report in the mail. Most conservators express gratitude for the investigator's services in ensuring their loved-one is watched over and protected.

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Author: Duisters Law, APC - Family Law & Probate Attorneys

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