Communication and Interactionfor Conserved Persons
American Bar Association has a new fact sheet for right to visitation. Defining the right to visitation, communication, and interaction under a conservatorship (in other states identified as a guardianship) is an important issue in elder and disability rights law. This issue recently gained media attention when the adult children of incapacitated celebrities such as Casey Kasem and Peter Falk petitioned the courts for the right to visit their parents over a guardian’s objections, and then advocated for legislative change.
Traditionally, a conservator had the power to encourage or limit important relationships and connections. Recently, national standards and state laws have charged conservators/guardians with encouraging and supporting visitation in accordance with a person’s values and preferences.
The American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging, with generous funding from the Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging, offers a Legislative Fact Sheet at www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/law_aging/2018-05-24-visitation-legislative-factsheet.authcheckdam.pdf to help professionals and families understand how various States, including California, legislatively deal with the issue of visitation for the conservatee.
In California, the probate code states: “Every adult in this state has the right to visit with and receive mail and telephone or electronic communication from whomever he or she so chooses, unless a court has specifically ordered otherwise. The control of the conservator does not reach to visitation, unless directed to do so by the court.” Cal. Prob. Code §§ 2351 & 2361.
More information on guardianship law, policy, and research is available on the Commission on Law and Aging’s website identified above.
Ms. MacDonald’s practice is limited to Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration. Ms. MacDonald maintains her practice in the Santa Clarita Valley at 25115 Avenue Stanford, Suite A-209, Valencia, California. She can be reached at 661-294-6464.
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