C is for Conservatorship, as in elder care. If I could go back in time, I would not choose to get conservatorship over my grandfather.
Conservatorship is a legal proceeding for instances when a person is not capable of caring for themselves and/or their finances. About two years ago, my grandmother and I went to court to gain conservatorship of my grandfather, both for health matters and for financial. My grandparents did not have a large sum of money, but they had a healthy savings account with about $60,000.00 and owned a small mobile home that they lived in. Grandfather had been suffering with a form of dementia for about 10 years and he was not able to be alone or manage his affairs. He died a year ago, and it took us a year to get the conservatorship closed (and the small amount of money tied up in a locked account released).
At the time, with little information, confusing information online... I felt that hiring a lawyer and gaining conservatorship was the only way I could keep my grandparents' money safe, stop him from driving and get him placed into a care home when the time came. Sadly, it did none of these things - theses things were eventually done, but not because of the conservatorship.
If dealing with elderly parents or grandparents, Istrongly advise you to talk to them about these matters and have legal papers signed for medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney. If you can, have them add you to their important accounts - so you can bypass the conservatorship. My grandmother is still capable, and I was able to do the things that needed to be done because she added me to these accounts - and grandfather did also, before he was declared incompetent. Our problem was that he was within walking distance of his bank and was walking there daily to cash sketchy "checks", take money out, and after we put the money into an account in grandmother's name, he went there daily to yell at the bank people. I thought getting the conservatorship would stop the bank from allowing him to take money out, order new charge cards and new checks...but no. Even with the paperwork submitted, they still allowed him to do his banking.
Once he began getting lost in his own mobile home park, we knew he needed to be in a home. I thought with the conservatorship and with him being declared incompetent, we would be able to place him in a memory-care home we found. Not so. We had to go before the judge to ask permission, and she would not give us permission to put him in a "locked" memory care facility. After a lot of stress, many visits from adult protective services, the police, my sister and I having to go daily to make his meals and find him...and the hiring of a care aid who then "borrowed" money from him.... we finally placed him in a private care home that was not locked, but wouldn't really let him leave. I could have done that without going to court.
So, a year after his death, we have finally closed the conservatorship case. I had to spend a lot of time and stress, dealing with every receipt we ever spent on him and my grandmother...accounting for every grocery trip, every medicine. It was a lot of time, a lot of stress (things needed quickly for a court date, the bank not able to fulfill the court orders and stress of being in contempt because of the bank's problems) and cost us about $5,000.00 for the lawyer, hundreds of dollars for a court investigator and fees for an attorney for my grandfather - about $4,000.00
Our attorney was very helpful, he was able to explain a process I could not fully understand, even with my mad internet research skills. But - it really took a toll, and I would not do it again. If you are in the beginning stages of elder care, I would advise you to figure out how to take care of these things without going to court. My grandmother lives with us, and I am on all of her accounts and have health and financial power of attorney. (disclaimer -this is my personal opinion after my own personal experience, do your research)
So, this was my C word for the A to Z challenge (button on the sidebar) whew, had to get that off my chest!!