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Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day – February 1, 2023

Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day is observed annually on February 1, usually through online conferences and events, such as debates, live streams, and discussions. The day aims to raise awareness about abuses of power within the conservatorship and guardianship system, which was created to care for people with disabilities or illnesses impairing their decision-making abilities. However, some guardians and conservators take this as an opportunity to control and manipulate their wards.

History of Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day

Guardianship allows an individual with normal living conditions to take over the health-care and nonfinancial decisions of someone suffering from a degenerative illness, injury, or coma. Guardians are appointed by a court and don’t necessarily have to be family members or friends of the ward. Anyone capable of making reasonable decisions for the welfare of the individual in their care can be appointed. In addition, guardians don’t deal with financial matters, so they’re prohibited from making monetary-based decisions.

In contrast, a conservatorship is when an individual living with reasonably normal conditions assumes control over the financial concerns and needs of someone unable to make them, including people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia or those in a comatose state. Conservators are also appointed by the court and don’t need to be friends or family members. These people typically deal with financial matters, meaning someone can be designated as both guardian and conservator if necessary.

Pop singer Britney Spears’ case is a well-known example of conservatorship and guardianship abuse that this day exposed. In 2008, her father and an attorney became her conservators. Although she showed signs of lucidity, however, her conservators were accused of abusing their financial power and restricting her access to the large amounts of money she had earned throughout her career. Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day was set on February 1, the day Spears’ conservatorship began, to bring attention to similar cases of abuse.

Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day timeline

1967
The L.P.S.

The Lanterman–Petris–Short Act is published.

2008
The Conservatorship of Banks

The United States federal government takes conservatorship of the banks during the recession.

February 1, 2008
The Conservatorship of Britney Spears

Spears is placed under the conservatorship of her father and attorney.

2021
The First Observation

Lisa MacCarley creates Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day.

Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day FAQs

Do guardians get paid?

Many courts permit guardians’ payment for their work to meet their ward’s needs.

Why was Britney Spears in a conservatorship?

Following several public incidents that suggested Spears’ mental health was declining and a resulting hospital stay, Spears’ father was given control of her estate.

Does my family member or a friend need a guardian or conservator?

If the potential ward has an illness, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, or has suffered from a form of brain injury, they’re likely in need of someone to make necessary healthcare or financial decisions for them.

How to Observe Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day

  1. Attend the virtual conference

    Every year, a virtual conference is held to discuss the effects of abuse by guardians and conservators. Signing up and attending is free and open to the public.

  2. Post about it

    If you can’t attend the conference, you can always promote it and raise awareness about the holiday on your social media accounts. This will widen the day’s reach and allow others to identify signs of conservatorship and guardianship abuse.

  3. Read about conservatorship and guardianship

    Read about and understand the concepts of conservatorship and guardianship and how they work. By doing this, you can determine when someone is abusing their power.

5 Facts About Conservatorship And Guardianship

  1. They provide safety

    There’s a sense of safety in knowing that your health care and finances are handled by someone capable.

  2. They lift the weight

    These services were created to lighten the load of dealing with difficult moments in life, struggling with illnesses, and managing financial matters.

  3. They help with organization

    Conservators and guardians are legally tasked to provide organization to those in need.

  4. They’re almost free

    While filing for guardianship is free, there is a small fee for filing for conservatorship.

  5. They’re after best interests

    Although abuse cases exist, conservatorship and guardianship are meant to work in the best interest of the person in need of these services.

Why Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day is Important

  1. It raises awareness

    This is the perfect day to educate others about something not many know or discuss. Identifying conservatorship and guardianship abuses is challenging when you don’t know what to watch out for.

  2. It promotes freedom

    Being free to make your own decisions and grow as a person is part of life and the law. By stopping conservatorship and guardianship abuses, we’re upholding our most basic need for freedom.

  3. It’s all about independence

    The ability to determine your fate is part of the dignity and fun accompanying citizenship. By talking about conservatorship and guardianship abuse, we’re breaking the walls enclosing those who previously didn’t have voices.

Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 1Wednesday
2024February 1Thursday
2025February 1Saturday
2026February 1Sunday
2027February 1Monday
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