As we have previously shared, singer Britney Spears’ court-appointed legal guardianship and financial conservatorship generated public outcry and the “Free Britney” movement, with the pop star’s fans claiming her father has not been acting in her best interest. The saga continues, with the recent announcement of “Framing Britney Spears,” a new documentary film from the New York Times released on February 5, 2021.
The documentary includes footage from the past decades, of which there was no shortage, as well as never previously-seen photos provided by a longtime friend and assistant of Britney’s who traveled with the star for years.
The conservatorship, approved by a California court 13 years ago, is unusual in many respects. As noted in the new documentary, such conservatorships are intended to give the appointed conservator the authority to manage the affairs for an adult who is unable to do so herself. In the case of Britney Spears, it seems contradictory that she can function as a superstar, performing show after show in Las Vegas while still somehow needing the protection offered by the conservatorship.
Much to the frustration of Britney’s fans, who have taken to scrutinizing her social media posts for clues and interpreting statements, many of the court records for the conservatorship are sealed. And Spears rarely speaks publicly about the matter. According to her lawyer though, “Britney herself is vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret.”
Court-appointed guardianships and conservatorships can be incredibly helpful when someone is truly incapable of managing their own finances or health care decisions. Because of the potential for abuse, these situations are scrutinized carefully by the courts – and rightfully so. Despite the fan frenzy and allegations of misuse or inappropriate actions by Britney’s father, we haven’t seen the court act to terminate or modify the guardian/conservator relationship yet.
To learn more about guardianships or to learn more about how estate planning can help avoid the need for such situations, contact The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center today.