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How to Secure a Coma Conservatorship

Coma Conservatorships.jpg

Image: BBC

Temporary Conservators Help Family Members in Medical Emergencies

The patient is fighting for his life in a hospital intensive care unit. He is suffering from the effects of serious head trauma. He is in a coma. A coma is the effective shutdown of brain function - a natural occurrence in cases of extreme trauma. Coma may last weeks and the patient may regain consciousness. For some who awaken from a coma they will remain unconscious, entering what is called a vegetative state.

The State of California has 48 Level 1 and Level II Trauma Centers. Given the size of our state's population, it is not unusual to have a sizable number of patients who are comatose. California's laws that allow for the appointment of Temporary Conservators may benefit a certain percentage of these patients and their families.

This patient's family - like all of us - never expected anything like this to happen. Family and friends have gathered together to help. The spiritual, emotional and financial assistance offered to the family help. There are some areas where additional help is needed. What does the family do if the patient does not have an Advance Health Care Directive or a General Durable Power of Attorney? In the absence of these documents, the family is not without recourse - the family or one of its members may secure a Court appointment as the Temporary Conservator of the person and estate of the comatose patient.

What is Temporary Conservatorship? The requested appointment of a temporary conservator for the comatose patient is caused by the need to approve health care treatment and for the patient's (conservatee's) need to allow his family member to have access to information and to be vested with health care decision-making authority. The medical emergency of the comatose patient is usually coupled with a financial emergency. Such a financial emergency may stem from household bills, utilities, and bank and securities accounts that, left untended, can cause great financial disruption.

Temporary Conservatorships Helping Families in Need

Hackard Law assists families and patients in these times of need. It is in these cases that our law firm follows Isaiah's noble call to charitable action:

"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17.

We've attached examples of California Judicial Council forms utilized in the appointment of a Temporary Conservator:

Capacity Declaration Conservatorship.pdf

Declaration of Notice of Ex Parte Application.pdf

Petition for Appointment of Temporary Conservator.pdf

Verification That Video of Conservators Duties Has Been Viewed.pdf

Order on Ex Parte Application.pdf

Order Appointing Temporary Conservator.pdf

Letters of Temporary Conservatorship.pdf

Duties of Conservator.pdf

Confidential Supplemental Information.pdf

Confidental Conservator Screening Form.pdf

Documents in addition to those referenced above will also be filed that support the Petition for Appointment of a Probate Conservator of the Person and Estate of the comatose person.

Fillable PDF versions of all forms are available from the California Courts website located at http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm.

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