In our last post we discussed the importance of making plans for the end of your life -- both death itself and the years leading up to it. As we grow elderly, we become much more vulnerable. Our bodies don't work as well and we may have a difficult time keeping track of personal and business affairs. Choosing a trustworthy power of attorney, conservator or estate administrator can provide some extra peace of mind as the ability to make complex health care or estate decisions gradually diminishes.
While families sometimes have to turn to a conservatorship in situations where a family member might be incapable of making decisions in their own best interests, these probate litigation issues can become more complicated in matters relating to a person with high level of fame - and assets.
A conservatorship can be a useful tool for families who have a loved one who may no longer be able to make decisions in their own best interests. Usually these situations arise from an elderly person who may be suffering from dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease or someone who has been injured in an accident and may be incapacitated for a period of time. However there are circumstances in which a person may be considered by a probate court to be unable to make decisions on their own behalf or on behalf of their own children. The case of Britney Spears is one recent example.
Michigan readers of our blog may remember an earlier post that detailed a battle between Zsa Zsa Gabor's daughter and her husband of 25 years over who should be the conservator of Ms. Gabor's care and estate. Francesca Hilton, Ms. Gabor's only child from a previous marriage, is satisfied with the court ordered conservatorship agreement as it requires Ms. Gabor's husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, to provide financial statements and medical records each month, according to her attorney.
With Father's Day just around the corner we thought our Michigan readers might be interested in a story about the need to protect our elderly loved ones from a variety of threats, including dementia. The story involves the elderly father of Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and her brother who have requested their father, John Witherspoon be placed into a conservatorship.
A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge will decide who will control Zsa Zsa Gabor's estate finances and medical care decisions. Last week Ms. Gabor's only daughter, Constance Francesca Gabor Hilton, filed a petition with the court to request a court controlled conservatorship of her mother's estate. A conservator is someone appointed by the court to have either partial or full control of making any financial or medical care decisions on behalf of a minor child or adult.