Mental Health Conservatorship

An LPS Conservatorship is a legal means used to provide for the care and treatment of persons who cannot properly care for themselves as a result of a mental disorder. The goal of an LPS Conservatorship is to assist the person with the illness to help them integrate back into society as healthy members.

The conservatorship has evolved over time. In the past, conservatorship was simply a period of time in which someone with mental illness would be cared for by family members or other caregivers – usually parents, siblings, or spouses.

An LPS conservatorship is only granted to people with mental illnesses whom the court deems “gravely disabled.” A mental illness is a biological brain disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and includes diagnoses such as schizophrenia, bipolar, and other psychotic disorders. A gravely disabled person is someone who is unable to provide his/her food, shelter, or clothing due to mental illness.

In order to qualify for an LPS conservatorship, your loved one must also meet three criteria:

  • You must be able to prove that your loved one has a severe mental illness;
  • Your loved one must have no ability to provide for themselves; and
  • You must show that you are able to care for your loved one without causing harm or danger to yourself or others.

Typically, people with serious mental illness who are deemed gravely disabled are not compliant with their treatment and medication. The LPS conservatorship allows the conservator to choose the appropriate living arrangement (such as locked facilities) and treatment (including psychotropic drugs) for the conservatee.
An LPS Conservatorship lasts for one year. It may be renewed annually if still needed.