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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
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Experience:  since 1983
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My elderly father has been missing for 8 months. The police

Customer Question

My elderly father has been missing for 8 months. The police are at a loss and are no longer doing anything. I have no idea what to do in many regards. He receives a Social Security check, he has life insurance. I don't know what to do about either. How do I proceed from here? I can't keep pretending everything is the same.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry to hear this.

The initial move is usually to establish a "conservatorship of the estate" over his assets by filing a petition in probate court.

The California Probate Code covers this situation.

CALIFORNIA CODES PROBATE CODE SECTION 1845-1849.5

"1845. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this article, a
conservator of the estate of a person who is missing and whose
whereabouts is unknown shall be appointed as provided in Article 3
(commencing with Section 1820).
(b) This article does not apply where the proposed conservatee is
an absentee as defined in Section 1403.


[1820. (a) A petition for the appointment of a conservator may be
filed by any of the following:
(1) The proposed conservatee.
(2) The spouse or domestic partner of the proposed conservatee.
(3) A relative of the proposed conservatee.
(4) Any interested state or local entity or agency of this state or any interested public officer or employee of this state or of a local public entity of this state.
(5) Any other interested person or friend of the proposed conservatee.
(b) If the proposed conservatee is a minor, the petition may be
filed during his or her minority so that the appointment of a
conservator may be made effective immediately upon the minor's
attaining the age of majority. An existing guardian of the minor may
be appointed as conservator under this part upon the minor's
attaining the age of majority, whether or not the guardian's accounts
have been settled.
(c) A creditor of the proposed conservatee may not file a petition
for appointment of a conservator unless the creditor is a person
described in paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of subdivision (a).]

1846. In addition to the other required contents of the petition, if the proposed conservatee is a person who is missing and whose whereabouts is unknown, the petition shall state all of the following:
(a) The proposed conservatee owns or is entitled to the possession
of real or personal property located in this state.
(b) The time and circumstance of the person's disappearance and
that the missing person has not been heard from by the persons most
likely to hear (naming them and their relationship to the missing
person) since the time of disappearance and that the whereabouts of
the missing person is unknown to those persons and to the petitioner.
(c) The last known residence of the missing person.
(d) A description of any search or inquiry made concerning the
whereabouts of the missing person.
(e) A description of the estate of the proposed conservatee which requires attention, supervision, and care.

1847. In addition to the persons and entities to whom notice of
hearing is required under Section 1822, if the proposed conservatee
is a person who is missing and whose whereabouts is unknown:
(a) A copy of the petition for appointment of a conservator and
notice of the time and place of the hearing on the petition shall be
mailed at least 15 days before the hearing to the proposed
conservatee at the last known address of the proposed conservatee.
(b) Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall also be
published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in a
newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proposed
conservatee was last known to reside if the proposed conservatee's
last known address is in this state.
(c) Pursuant to Section 1202, the court may require that further
or additional notice of the hearing be given.

1848. In a proceeding to appoint a conservator of the estate of a
person who is missing and whose whereabouts is unknown, the following
acts are not required:
(a) Issuance of a citation to the proposed conservatee pursuant to
Section 1823.
(b) Service of a citation and petition pursuant to Section 1824.
(c) Production of the proposed conservatee at the hearing pursuant
to Section 1825.
(d) Performance of the duties of the court investigator pursuant
to Section 1826.
(e) Performance of any other act that depends upon knowledge of
the location of the proposed conservatee.

1849. A conservator of the estate of a person who is missing and
whose whereabouts is unknown may be appointed only if the court finds
all of the following:
(a) The proposed conservatee owns or is entitled to the possession
of real or personal property located in this state.
(b) The proposed conservatee remains missing and his or her
whereabouts remains unknown.
(c) The estate of the proposed conservatee requires attention,
supervision, and care.

1849.5. (a) A petition may be filed under this article regardless
of when the proposed conservatee became missing or how long the
proposed conservatee has been missing.
(b) If a trustee was appointed pursuant to former Section 262,
repealed by Chapter 201 of the Statutes of 1983, the provisions of
former Sections 260 to 272, inclusive, repealed by Chapter 201 of the
Statutes of 1983, continue to apply to the case after December 31,
1983, unless, upon a petition filed under this article after December
31, 1983, the trustee is replaced by a conservator."

All above statutes via
http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=prob&codebody=&hits=20

You can petition to establish a conservatorship of the estate and that will allow you to continue to deposit his checks and handle all his other financial affairs.

There is some information about this at
http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-conservatorship.htm

You can get a free consultation from some of the attorneys listed by location at
http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/Probate-&-Estate-Administration/California

Please follow up on this with a local attorney.

I hope this information is helpful.
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8217
Experience: since 1983
N Cal Attorney and 14 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer, and thank you very much for the bonus!

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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney
Lawyer
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since 1983