As an A-list performer, Britney Spears pulls in millions of dollars a year but, for over a decade, she hasn’t had full control over her life or business affairs.
Since concerns about her mental health back in 2008, she has been subject to a court-approved conservatorship — a form of legal guardianship — that gives her father authority over her finances and many personal decisions.
Interest in Britney’s case has been recently renewed after the release of a documentary that focuses on the conflict over the guardianship. Framing Britney Spears, produced by The New York Times, examines the conservatorship in depth.
More often than not we're approached by children concerned for their parent's welfare and asking what can be done to protect their parent's interests. It may be that the rapid onset of dementia or other condition means that powers of attorney can't be used and the only option available is to seek a court appointed Financial and Welfare Guardian.
As the benefits of guardianship become better known and understood by clients, we're starting to see more applications being made by parents on behalf of their children.
Under Scots Law you're deemed to be an adult at 16 years, with the full authority and power to make your own decisions. As a parent, it is also the age at which your authority to make these decisions for your child stops.
If you're the parent of a child with additional support needs and it's anticipated they'll need your continued support once they become an adult, then finding out if a guardianship order is suitable is a sensible step to take.
Such appointments needn’t bring the controversy or conflict linked to the unusual case of Britney Spears.
The Princess of Pop's career has been in the hands of legal guardians in an arrangement known as a conservatorship since she faced a mental health crisis 12 years ago.