There was an important announcement in the Britney Spears saga this month.
As an elder law attorney with guardianship as one of my primary practice areas, the story of her ongoing conservatorship/guardianship has been fascinating.
Ever since my unofficial declaration of allegiance to the #FreeBritney movement, I’ve had my eye on the ongoings of her legal drama. Recently, Britney had filed a petition with the court overseeing her conservatorship to have her father removed as her conservator.
On August 12, 2021, her father filed his response to that petition.
According to Variety, Britney’s father Jamie Spears announced his intention to resign from his position as her conservator.
But there’s a catch (there’s always a catch). According to Elizabeth Wagmeister, reporting for Variety, he did not give a timetable for his resignation, and he further needed to “wrap up certain matters before he could hand over the reins.”
Mr. Spears was not specific regarding those outstanding issues.
In Florida, a resigning guardian of the property must file a petition for discharge and a final report. (This includes turning over receipts, disbursements, amounts reserved for unpaid and anticipated costs and fees, other relevant financial information, and a list of assets to the successor guardian.)
In Florida, however, these requirements do not apply until a guardian actually files a petition for resignation.
In Britney’s case, Mr. Spears gave no timetable for his resignation, and I cannot say when California’s resignation reporting requirement would apply.
If California has similar requirements, it wouldn’t be surprising for Mr. Spears’ resignation to be a long-drawn-out process. This is especially a factor given the size and value of the assets under Mr. Spears’ control that need to be accounted for and turned over to his successor.
Mr. Spears’ resignation as conservator is definitely a win for Britney, who’s been requesting his removal for quite some time. But the procedure to transition to a new conservator means the celebration for fans of the #FreeBritney movement will have to be delayed.
Stay tuned for further developments in Britney’s legal saga.
Attorney Neil T. Lyons pursued a career in law for the sole purpose of helping people. His practice focuses on the area of elder law, including estate planning, trust and probate administration and guardianship. His early legal experience solidified his commitment to assisting, whenever possible, two very vulnerable groups: children and the elderly. He receives repeated recognition by various organizations for his pro bono efforts in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Neil also consistently engages in service to the legal community and joined the Luhrsen Goldberg staff in 2019.