Oftentimes parents of children with special needs, whether developmentally or intellectually, mistakenly believe that they…
Britney Spears’ conservatorship has been a matter of public debate since it was initiated in 2008. Initially, Britney Spears’ father, James “Jamie” Spears was named as co-conservator of his daughter’s “person” and estate with an attorney, Andrew Wallet. In 2019, Wallet resigned and Jamie remained the sole conservator. In September 2019, Jodi Montgomery replaced Jamie as the care manager of Britney Spears’ “person” and Jamie remained conservator of Britney’s estate. In November 2020, Bessemer Trust was named as co-conservator to serve with Britney’s father Jamie.
Britney Spears requested to have her father Jamie removed as conservator. On June 30, 2021, the judge denied Britney’s request.
A conservatorship is a legal concept that permits a judge to grant a conservator (or multiple conservators) full control over an individual’s finances if that individual is physically or mentally unable to manage them. A conservator can be responsible for the conservatee’s “person”, meaning the conservator manages the individual’s daily life (i.e. living arrangements, health care decisions, social environment, etc.), and/or the conservatee’s estate, meaning the individual’s finances.
New York repealed the conservatorship and committeeship statutes that related to the management of the person and property of adults in 1993 and replaced them with the Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 Guardianship Statute (MHL Article 81).
In New York, there are two separate proceedings to appoint a guardian or guardians for adults who lack capacity:
- Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) Article 17-A – Guardianship of an Adult with Developmental and/or Intellectual Disabilities; or
- MHL Article 81 – Guardianship of an Incapacitated Adult with functional limitations.
Although each of the above referenced proceedings are governed by its own law, both permit the appointment of a guardian of the person, a guardian of the property, or a guardian of the person and property.
Generally, the MHL Article 81 guardianship proceeding is used when an adult who once had capacity, has lost capacity and needs assistance with managing his or her personal needs and/or property management, and allows for the appointment of a Guardian for Personal Needs and/or Property Management.
The law is designed to establish a system to satisfy the personal and/or property management needs of an incapacitated person, in a manner tailored to the unique needs of that person, while leaving the individual with the greatest degree of independence and self-determination possible.
If Britney Speaks resided in New York at the time she lost capacity, then it is very likely that an MHL Article 81 Guardianship proceeding would have been brought to help her.
As you can see what the Britney Spears’ Conservatorship, these types of proceedings can be very complicated. Therefore, it is important to meet with an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in guardianships and can help guide you through the process.