Britney Spears — Guardianship Controversy Explained

If you are keeping up with the news, you may be aware of pop-star Britney Spears’ ongoing legal battle over the control of her finances, career, and estate. For the past 13 years, Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, has served as her conservator. The arrangement arose following the pop-star’s struggle with mental health issues and substance abuse back in 2008. But what is a conservator, and what are the implications of this relationship?

A California Conservatorship

In Britney’s home state of California, a conservatorship is a type of guardianship for elder individuals or disabled adults who are unable to care for themselves. A judge is responsible for appointing the conservator, who is then responsible for managing decisions regarding finances, housing, and healthcare. As Britney’s court-appointed conservator, her father has the authority to make decisions concerning her estate, her career, and other aspects of her personal life such as medical treatment. 

The Controversy

Recently, Britney has called for changes in her legal arrangement with her father. Through her lawyers, Britney has voiced her desire to remove her father as her conservator, alleging she is afraid of him, but she has been unsuccessful. Britney has also expressed that she will not continue with her career until her father is removed as her conservator. Britney’s fans have also expressed their concern for Britney by taking to social media and starting the #FreeBritney movement.

What are the implications of Britney’s controversial guardianship arrangement?

Britney Spears’ guardianship arrangement with her father has shed light on what guardianship reform activists call a flaw in the guardianship system. Guardianships are intrusive and risky because they give one person the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of another person. People under guardianships often have little to no say over the state of their finances, their living situations, or when and how they will receive medical treatment. Thus, many people under guardianship are in a vulnerable position that may leave them susceptible to be abused or taken advantage of by their legally appointed guardians. 

Florida has had its own trouble with the guardianship system. Although most guardians carry out their duties and are caring, Florida has dealt with guardians who have abused their powers. That is why it is important to consult with a Florida attorney who is familiar with Florida guardianship laws before entering into a legal arrangement such as a guardianship or conservatorship, especially as a guardianship may not be the best kind of arrangement for your circumstances. Guardianships are necessary in certain situations and having the right attorney explain the guardianship process to you is essential.  

Contact us Today

The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm has a team of experienced Probate, Family and Estate Planning attorneys located in Coral Gables, Florida. As attorneys who have extensive knowledge in Guardianships, we understand the process can be intrusive and complex. If you are currently considering a guardianship, or other similar legal arrangement, contact us to set up an appointment to evaluate your options. We serve the entire state of Florida so call us for more information.