The conservatorship of Britney Spears’ may be one of the most well-known – if not the most well-known – examples of a conservatorship in the country. Conservatorship is a legal arrangement whereby a person steps in and assumes responsibility for the affairs of another person. In this post, we will take a moment to discuss the basics of Britney Spears’ conservatorship, and also discuss a few points about conservatorship here in Florida. As we will see, conservatorship has a somewhat atypical meaning under Florida when compared with other states.
Basics of Conservatorship in Florida
In the State of Florida, the term “conservatorship” refers to a scenario in which one person assumes responsibility for the financial affairs of another person. The conservator may also handle other affairs as well, such as those to do with property management, legal issues, and so forth. The thing which makes conservatorship unique in Florida is that this arrangement is reserved specifically for “absentees” as opposed to those who are simply ill or otherwise incapacitated. In other words, conservators only manage the affairs of people who are legally considered to be “missing.” The word “absentee” is defined specifically in Florida law under Section §747.01. What’s more, those petitioning for a conservatorship must follow a set of specific rules.
Conservatorship vs. Guardianship under Florida Law
Unlike conservatorship, guardianship refers to an arrangement in which one person manages the affairs of another non-missing person. This is the arrangement which characterized the situation in Britney Spears’ situation. Under Florida law, a guardian has all the same duties and responsibilities of a conservator – such as the management of legal, financial, and healthcare affairs – but the other party of the guardianship is someone who is unable to manage his or her own affairs.
Quick Synopsis of Spears’ Case
Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship since 2008 (although, under Florida law, we would regard this state of affairs as a guardianship). At that time, a California court determined that Spears’ best interests would be served by having her affairs managed by another party. In her case, the court appointed multiple persons to act as her conservator. One of those people is her father, Jamie Spears. At the time of the appointment, Ms. Spears had been recently exhibiting some bizarre and potentially troubling behavior, including public meltdowns and excessive drug use. The conservator still persists to this day, but it has been the subject of controversy for a number of years.
Many observers contend that Ms. Spears’ conservatorship has not been handled properly, and that it may no longer be in her best interests. At the present time, Ms. Spears’ life is controlled by her conservators in almost every respect; the conservators can make critical medical decisions on her behalf, and also control her travel decisions. Furthermore, the conservators submit detailed accounting reports of all financial transactions, including even the smallest and most innocuous purchases. This situation persists even while Ms. Spears has shown marked improvement in many areas of her life.
This month, Ms. Spears will address the Superior Court in L.A. regarding the status of her conservatorship. We will have to wait and see what happens in the future.
Contact the Denise Jomarron Legal Group for More Information
At the Denise Jomarron Legal Group, we strive for excellence in our areas of practice, which include guardianships, estate planning and probate, special needs planning, and elder law. To learn more, contact us by calling (305) 402-4494.
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