Britney Spears and her personal life has remained a consistent topic in the news over the past few years thanks to the uproar over her 13-year conservatorship (or guardianship). Guardianships are used to protect people who are found to lack the capacity to manage their affairs or communicate decisions about their property, family, or self. Here are tips to follow when acting as a guardian.
Don’t Spy on the Protected Person
One reason that Britney’s conservatorship garnered so much attention was the absolute lack of respect for her privacy. Britney’s rooms were bugged, and her cell phone messages were monitored.
A person under a conservatorship may need guidance in making decisions, but they should still maintain a reasonable level of privacy.
Assume That Everything You Do Will be Revealed
When acting as a guardian, act under the assumption that everything you do will eventually be revealed. Don’t engage in behavior that you will regret or feel the need to hide.
Your behavior can be revealed in court, and with the prevalence of text messaging, emails, and cameras, it’s a safe assumption that there’s evidence of everything you do during the conservatorship.
Use the Guardianship Appropriately
Documents indicate that Britney’s conservatorship was overly intrusive, restricting who she was able to date, her ability to have children, and even the color of her kitchen cabinets. It’s difficult to argue that the color of one’s kitchen cabinets is reasonable to dictate. People in a conservatorship should maintain their ability to exercise their personal rights.
Execute a Reasonable Amount of Financial Responsibility
It’s normal for guardians to make recommendations or decisions that help the conservatee preserve their wealth. However, when a guardian seems to restrict the conservatee’s spending in an attempt to control them, this isn’t acting in the conservatee’s best interests.
Keep clear records about financial decisions that you make, and include documents that support your decisions. Make sure you can argue why you spent money a certain way or why you prevented the conservatee from making a purchase.
Bring in a Non-Partial Party
If you’re genuinely not sure if a decision is reasonable or in the conservatee’s best interests, consult with a non-partial party.
Get Help with Your Legal Needs
Contact Voyant Legal for legal guidance or for help protecting you or a loved one’s assets.