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Conservatee on a Public Conservatorship

ConservatorshipProcess Who to Call

While on public conservatorship, each Conservatee is assigned one Conservator through the Public Guardian's office and one Care Coordinator with LPS Mental Health Services. The Conservator and Care Coordinator work closely together with the Conservatee to make sure that all needs are being addressed. While on Public Conservatorship, a Conservatee is required to live in a licensed facility. The types of facilities Conservatees reside in are determined by their mental health needs and medical needs.

  • Depending on the terms of the Court's orders, the conservatee may lose the right to consent to surgery, to refuse medications and treatment, and/or to refuse lab tests.
  • The Conservatee may not enter into contracts or drive a car.
  • The Conservatee may not leave the state without a court order.
  • The Conservatee must live in a licensed setting.
  • The Conservatee will need permission from the conservator to go out on passes.


  • The Public Conservator will act as the payee and manage the income, expenses and debts.
  • The Public Conservator will approve the placement based upon the recommendation of the treating staff.
  • The Public Conservator will coordinate all entitlements and benefit programs.
  • The Public Conservator will be notified of any emergency or change in conservatee's status.


Private Conservatees are often seen by Care Coordinators through an outpatient clinic.

  • The Conservatee may live in a treatment facility or private residence. The court can determine the type of placement that is most appropriate. A Private Conservator can authorize placement.
  • The Conservatee cannot leave a placement without authorization from the Private Conservator.
  • The Conservatee must participate in the treatment as specified by the court or Private Conservator.
  • Depending on the Court order, the Conservatee may lose the right to enter into contracts or drive a car and bearing arms.
  • Depending on the terms of the Court's orders, the conservatee may lose the right to consent to surgery, to refuse medications and treatment, and/or to refuse lab tests.


The court order will serve as a guide for the Private Conservator, describing the responsibilities that must be met and the rights of the Conservatee that must be observed.  The Private Conservator consults with the mental health professionals involved with the Private Conservatee.

  • The Private Conservator is responsible only for taking reasonable steps to authorize mental health treatment and other services needed by the Conservatee including his or her personal needs for food, clothing and shelter.
  • The Private Conservator is not expected to guarantee a Conservatee’s participation in recommended treatment and cannot be held liable for Conservatee’s actions.
  • The Private Conservator is not obligated to have the Conservatee live in his or her home. A Private Conservator can authorize placement for a Private Conservatee in either a licensed facility or private residence.
  • If the Private Conservator is also an appointed conservator of the estate, then certain fiduciary responsibilities and reporting requirements are mandated.
  • If there is a change in a court ordered placement or recommended treatment, or a move to a more restrictive placement, a written notice of the change must be submitted to the court.
  • The Private Conservator must be aware of guidelines for medical treatment and seek court authorization for surgery and any medical treatment or procedure that is not specified in the conservatorship orders, if the Conservatee lacks capacity to make medical decisions.
If warranted, file a "Declaration in Support of Reappointment of Conservator" at least 45 days prior to the termination of the conservatorship.

The Private Conservator is responsible for taking reasonable steps to authorize mental health treatment and other services needed by the Conservatee. The Private Conservator is also expected to have sufficient contact with the Conservatee and treatment agencies to be able to make arrangements for obtaining help and supervision.

If at anytime a Private Conservator is no longer able to fulfill his or her responsibilities as Private Conservator, written notification to the Superior Court is required. A request to be removed as Private Conservator can be made by your attorney or by directly writing the Superior Court Mental Health Judge. The process is to describe your decision and ask the Court to direct the Public Guardian to reopen its investigation and schedule a court proceeding to appoint a new conservator. Note: Until the court takes action and you are formally removed as conservator, you are responsible to continue to act.


Care Coordinators work for the County of Orange, Health Care Agency, Behavioral Health Services. The LPS Mental Health Care Coordinators provide case management services for Public Conservatees. Their office is located within the Public Guardian's Office.

Private Conservatees receiving care from county mental health clinics, have Care Coordinators from one county outpatient clinics. There are some differences between LPS Mental Health and Adult Mental Health Clinics but basic case management services are similar for all Care Coordinators.

  • The Care Coordinator will provide services that include case management, assessments, evaluations, therapy, linkage to community services, consultation and crisis intervention.
  • The Care Coordinator will have at least monthly contact with each assigned Conservatee.
  • The Care Coordinator will monitor medical and psychiatric care.
  • The Care Coordinator will work with individual Conservators and provide updates of current clinical status.
  • The Care Coordinator will assist social workers and discharge planners with placement during acute hospitalization.
If terminated from conservatorship, the Care Coordinator will link the Conservatee to outpatient services.