Jay Leno’s Request For Conservatorship of His Wife’s Estate is Granted — Understanding Guardianships and How They Keep Your Loved Ones Safe


Former host of the “Tonight Show” Jay Leno was granted conservatorship of his wife Mavis Leno’s estate on Tuesday. In a Los Angeles courtroom, the judge determined that the conservatorship would be “necessary and appropriate” for this case given that Mavis Leno has Alzheimer’s and experiences advanced dementia. According to the files released after the court hearing, “the judge determined Jay Leno was ‘suitable and qualified’ to be appointed the estate’s conservator.”

Unfortunately, because Mavis struggles with a degenerative brain disease, she “has been progressively losing capacity and orientation to space and time for several years.” Leno filed a petition in January that would request a conservatorship of his wife’s estate so he could “execute an estate plan on her behalf.” Like Mavis Leno, individuals with dementia or other cognitive impairments may eventually reach a point where they require a guardian. That is why this case highlights the importance of having a plan in place to care for a loved one who is no longer able to manage their own finances.

In North Carolina, the legal term used for situations like the Lenos’ is guardianship. A guardian is a court-appointed individual who manages the financial affairs and wellbeing of someone deemed incapacitated. According to Rule 17 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, testamentary or general guardians can bring and defend lawsuits on behalf of an incompetent person(s) they are appointed to protect. At Lord & Lindley, PLLC, Trey Lindley has extensive experience guiding people through the guardianship process. We understand the emotional and legal complexities involved in seeking guardianship for a loved one.

If your loved one is a victim of financial abuse and lacks the ability to protect and defend himself or herself, please call us at (704) 457-1010 to discuss how we can help you. Contact Trey Lindley to find out more about the difference between conservatorships and guardianships. For more information regarding our firm, attorneys, and practice areas, please visit our website at Lord & Lindley.

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