The megastar Britney Spears has taken the first steps to financial freedom after years of being in a conservatorship. The arrangement placed her under almost complete control from her father and court appointed attorney. This included her work schedule down to what she was allowed to eat.
She accuses her father, Jamie Spears of “conservatorship abuse.”. Britney is 39 years old and wanted to hire her own attorney. Judge Brenda Penny granted the motion in Spears’ favor. Her new attorney will be Mathew Rosengart.
Britney indicated that she was forcefully medicated and that it is “allowing my dad to ruin my life”. Her new attorney’s first priority is to remove her father from the conservatorship.
The judge approved the resignation of her court-appointed lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III and Bessemer Trust, the wealth management company.
What is a Conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a legal process in which a guardian or conservator is granted authority over the affairs of a person who can’t make decisions on their own.
This process is often used for people who are elderly, mentally incapacitated or minors.
The decision regarding whether a conservatorship is necessary is made during a hearing where both sides present evidence for their case. What happens during this hearing depends on the wishes of the person needing assistance.
Who can become a conservator?
A conservator may be the parent of an adult child with disabilities, or any individual over age 18 appointed by the court to manage another person’s personal and financial decisions. A family member, friend or attorney acting in a fiduciary role may act as conservator. A court will decide whether it’s in the best interest of the incapacitated person to appoint someone to oversee his affairs.
Examples of Conservatorship Abuse
Not specifically related to the Britney Spears’ case, some of the abuse that occurs during a conservatorship include:
- Taking assets away from a person who is deemed incompetent due to mental incapacity. This can be done even if they are capable of understanding what’s happening to them.
- Not allowing communication with family and friends because it may “cloud” their judgement about the situation of their loved one.
- Using distraction tactics such as sending a mentally incapacitated person on errands, watching TV or playing games while important documents or decisions are being made regarding his/her care.
- Forcing an elderly individual into a nursing home for profit although he/she does not need to be there.