#FreeBritney! Conservatorships in the News!

With Britney Spears and her conservatorship in the news lately, lots of folks on social media are talking about this archaic and curious area of probate law and how Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, has been using it against her. (Yes. Against. We are taking a stand here). Some social media users have gone so far as to say conservatorships shouldn’t exist at all! Well, this is simply wrong. Conservatorships are a necessary and time tested legal avenue that people use to protect their loved ones.

What is a Conservatorship?

Britney Spears is not your regular conservatee.  Lawyers and Courts use Conservatorships primarily for children and the elderly. Dementia and Alzheimers patients especially NEED a conservatorship. Conservatorships serve the primary purpose of protecting the financial interests of the conservatee.

Many people are familiar with guardianships, which are the other side of the coin of conservatorships.  In the news, you may have heard of a Britney’s conservatorship of the person. This is California’s version of Iowa’s guardianship.  A conservator of the person or guardianship takes care of someone who cannot take care of themselves or make everyday decisions. A conservator of the estate (or just conservatorship in Iowa) makes the financial decisions for the person who cannot.

So what’s the deal with Britney?

Britney is under both a guardianship and conservatorship. Up until recently, Britney’s father Jamie has been making all of the decisions in Britney’s life: when she can see her kids, when she can see her boyfriend, what doctors she sees, what medications she takes. Everything.

What is so mind blowing about this case is that Britney does not seem like the person who needs a conservatorship or a guardianship.  She performs, she writes, she works.  She seems very competent to the outside world.  It’s clear that she had some issues in 2008 (I mean didn’t we all?), but that’s ancient history now. The singer’s pleas at her hearing in June show that she is suffering emotionally under her conservatorship. Most surprising is that Britney claims her court appointed attorney never told her she could petition to terminate the conservatorship! He has now withdrawn from her case so we can expect him getting sued for malpractice in the near future. The court just allowed Britney to hire a new attorney and we can expect a petition to terminate and more litigation on that front. It’s clear that with so much money on the line some ethical lines have been crossed and it will be very interesting to see the fall out. 


In the real world, conservatorships are not this exciting.  If you have someone in your life who you think can no longer take care of their finances or themselves, contact us and we can get you started on setting up a guardianship or conservatorship for your loved one so that they and their money can be protected. Remember conservatorships are not bad in and of themselves! You just need the right conservator i.e. not Jamie Spears.