Last week, pop music star Britney Spears completed her 30-day stay at a mental health facility and has been doing just fine since. TMZ reported that the reasons for her being there stemmed from her father’s recent illness taking a toll on her, as well as her medicine not being as effective as it used to be.

A rumor however suggested that Britney’s father, Jamie Spears had forced pills on her against her will, as well as force her into a mental health facility. What’s interesting to note is that Jamie Spears is Britney’s conservator.

A conservator is an individual appointed by the probate court to watch over and manage another individual’s finances. The reason is usually that the individual the conservator is appointed to can’t handle finances on his or her own, or needs assistance. This is also known as a financial guardianship, which can be confused for a regular guardianship – something the rumor seemed to indicate Jamie Spears having.

Whereas a financial guardian looks over all financial aspects of another individual, a guardianship looks over another individual, making decisions on living, healthcare and their general well being. All of the decisions made need to be made in the best interest of the individual.

In order for Jamie Spears to be able to move her to a facility and make pharmaceutical decisions, the probate court would have had to have permitted the authority. TMZ found that there was no such authority given to Jamie. That means if he were doing this, he would be acting beyond his role as a conservator. Fortunately, it all turned up being hogwash in the end. We’re just glad that Britney is doing fine.

But there’s an important lesson that can be learned for everyone: a financial guardianship and a guardianship are different. It’s always important to know the differences.

We can tell you what’s different between a conservator and guardian – we’ll even set one up if you need it. The Probate ProSM practices and provides conservatorship and guardianship legal services, as well as special needs trusts, probate litigation and appeals, elder care and more. If you think it’s the right time to plan for a conservatorship or guardianship, call us at 1-(877)-YOUR-FIRM.