Late last year, pop star Britney Spears asked a California probate court to remove her father as court-appointed conservator – a role he has held for 13 years – and to appoint Jodi Montgomery in his place. Through her attorney, Britney cited a job well-done by Montgomery, who acted as conservator for a time in 2019 when Jamie Spears’ health kept him from serving in that capacity.
In a recent filing, Jamie Spears has asked the court to award him nearly $2 million to cover his legal fees, which he expects to be paid from his 39-year-old daughter’s estate. In addition, he has also asked the court to approve compensation at the rate of $16,000 per month for the time he spent acting as her conservator for the period from November 1, 2019 through February 28, 2021 plus $2,000 per month for the cost of office space dedicated to Britney’s activities. Payments through October 31, 2019 were previously approved.
As we have previously discussed related to Britney’s situation, court-appointed guardianships and conservatorships – when warranted and appropriate – can be enormously helpful, allowing a trusted relative or professional fiduciary to manage the affairs of someone who has been deemed unable to handle things themselves. In spite of the significant attention Britney’s situation has garnered in recent years, there has not yet been any action taken by the court that would give credence to the star’s fans’ claims Jamie Spears was mismanaging his daughter’s estate.
It is also common for court-appointed guardians and conservators to receive reasonable compensation for their services. What constitutes “reasonable” compensation varies from one situation to the next, depending on the facts and circumstances including the complexity of the estate, the types of assets involved, the activities undertaken on the ward’s behalf, etc.
The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center helps Californians with proactive estate planning strategies. Planning ahead can help ensure the person or people you would want managing your affairs in the event of incapacity would have the opportunity to do so without having to be formally appointed in a court proceeding. Contact us to learn more!