With Britney Spears’ case making headlines, local financial expert breaks down conservatorships

Local News

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Britney Spears’ conservatorship case continues to make headlines, leaving people with questions about how court-ordered guardianships work.

Recently, Britney Spears’ father announced he will step down as her conservator after 13 years of handling her estate.

Spears’ conservatorship started after her mental breakdown over a decade ago.

Now that she is well, her conservatorship doesn’t need such strict management.

So, what exactly is a conservatorship? They might actually be more helpful than you might think.

“A judge appoints a person or an organization, a ‘conservator,’ right, to help manage somebody’s finances or themselves,” said Chris Mediate, president of Mediate Financial in Canfield.

He explained why people would use conservatorships.

“Not understand how to use their expenses, not know what to do with their assets,” he said.

He also explained how a conservatorship differs from a power of attorney, a similar type of legal document, but power of attorney allows people to decide who controls their assts.

“I can change whoever I want on that document before I become incapacitated, so I don’t have to go to a court in order to do that,” Mediate said.

Pros to conservatorships include the ease of managing one’s assets and protection against elder abuse.

However, conservatorships can be expensive with court costs and may lead to altered family dynamics.

“Not everybody maybe could agree with some of the conservator’s choices for that person or how about even who the conservator is,” Mediate said.

When setting up a conservatorship, Mediate says to choose conservators carefully and figure out how much control others have over your assets.

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