Guardianship & Conservatorship

The Scotts Valley law firm Dawson, Passafuime, Bowden & Martinez cover all aspects of Guardianship & Conservatorship for people living in Santa Cruz County.


A Guardianship is initiated by a probate court proceeding in which a guardian is appointed by the probate court to protect the person and/or estate of a minor. Historically, Guardianships were for the protection of orphans. Guardianships today are most often used to protect minors whose parents are still living. Guardianships of the person are usually established by relatives or other caring adults to provide stability and needed care for minors whose parents fail to provide these essentials to them. A temporary Guardianship can be requested when there is an immediate need for intervention to protect the child either from ongoing neglect or from being suddenly removed from the place where the child has been residing for some time and from the person with whom the child has emotionally bonded.

In a Guardianship of the person, the guardian is responsible for determining where the minor lives, making sure that the minor is properly fed, clothed, and sheltered, supervising the minor’s conduct, and making sure the minor is enrolled in school and has proper medical care. In a Guardianship of the estate, the guardian has a duty to control and preserve the estate’s property, segregate Guardianship estate property from other property, hold the minor’s property for the minor’s benefit until he/she is 18 years old, and avoid conflicts of interest such as using or dealing with estate property for personal profit or engaging in a transaction where the guardian has an interest that is adverse to the minor’s.


A conservatorship is a court proceeding where the court appoints someone (conservator) to care for another adult (conservatee) who is unable to care for him/herself or manage his/her finances. This legal process allows the conservator to take care of and make financial and medical decisions on behalf of the conservatee. Conservatorships are usually set up for people who suffer major medical ailments, are in comas, or have other serious injuries and illnesses. Many conservatorships start when a concerned person notices that a friend, family member, or neighbor appears to be having trouble properly providing for personal needs, managing financial resources, or resisting fraud or undue influence.

In a Conservatorship of the person, a conservator manages the personal care of a person who cannot properly provide for his or her personal needs for physical health, medical care, food, clothing, or shelter. The conservator decides where the conservatee lives and must make sure that the place selected is the “least restrictive” appropriate alternative that is available and necessary to meet the individual’s needs. In a conservatorship of the estate, a conservator manages the financial affairs of a person who is substantially unable to manage his or her own financial resources or to resist fraud or undue influence.

A Guardianship or Conservatorship lawyer at Dawson, Passafuime, Bowden & Martinez can help you determine whether a Guardianship or Conservatorship is appropriate for your family or family member. ours attorney also has experience handling complications in the case and it able to deal with any litigation challenging the Guardianship or Conservatorship.

Dawson, Passafuime, Bowden & Martinez

4665 Scotts Valley Drive

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

P (831) 438-1221 F (831) 438-2812

For more information please call:

(831) 438-1221

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