What is a conservatorship and what does it mean for your money?

Britney Spears visited Target 80 times in 2018

Britney Spears made 80 trips to Target in one year.

"Conservatorship" is a buzzword right now considering the drama surrounding Britney Spears and her father Jamie Spears. 

While scuffles over finances are nothing new when it comes to stars and their families, the case begs the question: What exactly is a conservatorship?

Essentially, a conservatorship exists when a guardian of sorts — known as a conservator — is appointed to oversee the financial affairs, and sometimes daily life, of another person, the conservatee.

They are put in place in the courts due to someone's inability to oversee their affairs themselves, be it because of disability, age or something else entirely.

BRITNEY SPEARS CONSERVATORSHIP: A LOOK AT THE DRAMA AFTER HER FATHER REQUESTS TO TEMPORARILY STOP MANAGING HER MONEY

Britney Spears is currently under a conservatorship in California. (Digital composition with images from Getty Images)

Corporations and organizations, such as banks, can also serve as conservators.

In Spears' case, her father has served as conservator for the majority of the time she's been under the conservatorship, which began in 2008 after her public meltdown. He stepped down temporarily in 2019 and the singer's care manager, Jodi Montgomery, temporarily took over.

In November 2020, a judge declined to suspend Jamie from his role as conservator despite requests from the pop star that he be blocked. Furthermore, the star's attorney alleged that Spears is "afraid of her father" and "will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career."

BRITNEY SPEARS IS 'STRONGLY OPPOSED' TO HER FATHER RETURNING AS SOLE CONSERVATOR: REPORT

The pop star is expected to make a few remarks to the judge during her conservatorship hearing on Wednesday. Spears, who is scheduled to take part remotely, asked for the hearing so she could address the court directly.

Her court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham III, made the request at an April 28 hearing. He gave no indication of what the 39-year-old wants to say.

The singer has never asked the court to end the conservatorship entirely, though she has emphasized in documents that she reserves the right to do so at any time.

A TIMELINE OF BRITNEY SPEARS' CONSERVATORSHIP

According to Forbes, conservatorships like Spears' can place strict limitations on the conservatee, including whether or not they can get married or even drive a car.

In fact, a conservatorship is a relatively rare move for the courts to make considering the harsh restrictions that can be placed on the conservatee. It's most often used in the case of aging adults suffering from dementia and the like, the outlet reports.

In November 2020, a judge declined to suspend Spears’ father, Jamie, from his role as conservator despite requests from the pop star that he be blocked. (Photo by J. Merritt/Getty Images for GLAAD)

In addition to such aspects of a conservatee's daily life, a conservator also can also oversee finances.

BRITNEY SPEARS EXPECTED TO MAKE REMARKS DURING CONSERVATORSHIP HEARING

In 2016, the New York Times reported that in Spears' case, "her most mundane purchases, from a drink at Starbucks to a song on iTunes, are tracked in court documents as part of the plan to safeguard the great fortune she has earned but does not ultimately control."

This is, of course, only one example, but it displays the depths to which a conservatorship can stretch, possibly leaving a conservatee all but cut off from their own finances.

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Hearings are held in court to discuss the state of the conservatorship in which requests for various changes can be filed, such as Spears' reported request that her father not be reinstated as her sole conservator.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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