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What is a conservatorship?


Fans are rallying to free Britney from her conservatorship. (Picture: Getty Images)

Britney Spears. Pop princess. Miss American Dream since she was seventeen.

Britney has given the world a lot in her career spanning over two decades, but currently, the world is focused less so on her career and more on her personal life.

A new documentary, Framing Britney Spears, reveals that Britney is still living under a conservatorship which many are accusing of being untoward, particularly over her father’s handling of her finances and personal life.

But just what is a conservatorship?

What does conservatorship mean?

A conservatorship is a legal concept in the United States that places someone under the legal protection of an appointed adult.

A guardian or a protector is appointed by a judge to manage different aspects of someone’s life, from their financial affairs to their daily life.

One is usually appointed a conservator if they are suffering from physical or mental issues or declining with age.

Britney has not been in control of her financial or health decisions since 2008 (Picture: Getty)

With regards to Britney, her financial and medical affairs are handled by her father and a legal representative – something it is being reported the star is hoping to be freed from soon.

How long does a conservatorship last?

A conservatorship will last as long as it is needed.

It will end when the conservatee is considered no longer in need of a conservator, for example, if a person is unable to care for their self because of a medical condition, the conservatorship will end when he is treated or recovers sufficiently to care for himself again.

In this example, this will be a planned conservatorship – which is akin to power of attorney.

However, in an unplanned conservatorship – such as responding to a sudden change of circumstance as was the case with Britney – the length of the conservatorship is up for debate.

As an unplanned conservatorship is court-ordered, the court will assign not only a conservator but also a caseworker for the person.

The caseworker will remain in contact with the conservator and make certain that the transition goes well, regularly checking on the status of all involved.

Why does Britney still have a conservator?

This question is a big catalyst for the #FreeBritney movement – which started out as hardcore fans and bloggers and has since gone on to include celebrities and powerful figures.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Andy Cohen, Hayley Williams from Paramore, Olly Alexander, Miley Cyrus, Kacey Musgraves and Bette Midler have all tweeted support for Britney, using the hashtag #FreeBritney.

Britney Spears’ father was charged as her conservator following her breakdown in 2007. Since then, Spears has gone on to release four successful studio albums, perform multiple worldwide tours and performed nightly at a high-intensity Las Vegas residency.

The star has bounced back from a public health crisis in 2008, releasing four albums and performing in shows worldwide. (Picture: Getty)

The argument being made by fans is that if she is fit enough to put on a spectacle involving acrobatics, pyrotechnics and more nightly, she should be able to make her own life decisions.

Britney has remained tight-lipped about the situation, though many interpret her recent social media activity as a sign she is hearing the support for her.

In a recent tweet, Spears wrote: ‘…I love simply enjoying the basics of every day life !!!! Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories !!!! We all have so many different bright beautiful lives !!! Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens !!!'[sic]


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