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Britney Spears has been all over the headlines recently with her court case to end her father’s conservatorship over her estate. It has already sparked a huge debate about the laws surrounding conservatorship.

But what led to Britney being in this position in the first place? Conservatorship (also known sometimes as legal guardianship) is usually only granted to minors and aged individual , so how is it an adult celebrity has been caught in this legal situation?

We are going to look back over the case history of Britney’s conservatorship to provide a clear timeline of what happened to her.

The Complete Timeline of Britney’s Conservatorship

Since experiencing a mental health crisis in 2008 the famed singer had control of her estate taken away from her for 13 years. Instead, she had court-appointed guardians managing much of her life despite maintaining a public profile in the spotlight.

This is how eventsunfolded for Britney:

Britney Spears' conservatorship infographic

2007: Public Breakdown

Britney Spears is seen in public behaving erratically on a number of occasions. This includes shaving her head, driving with her baby son sitting on her lap, being wheeled out of her home on a stretcher, and speaking in a British accent.

2008: The Origins of Britney’s Conservatorship

After a period of commitment in a psychiatric facility, Spears is judged by Los Angeles Superior Court to be incapable of managing her own estate.

As a result, her father Jamie Spears is named her co-guardian, along with LA lawyer Andrew Wallet. Spears senior is made responsible for Britney’s estate and physical wellbeing, while Wallet manages the singer’s financial assets.

2008 - 2019: The Appearance of Normality

Things appear to return to normality as Britney starts to perform again and appear in public as she had before. However, the conservatorship continues to be renewed in private leaving Spears with little control over her life choices.

January - March 2019: Conservatorship in Crisis

In January 2019 Britney Spears suddenly cancels a show in Las Vegas citing the ill health of her father who was hospitalized the previous November. In March of the same year, Andrew Wallet resigns from his position as co-guardian.

April - September 2019: The “Free Britney” Movement Gains Momentum

Britney Spears checks into a mental health facility for 30 days and rumors start publically circulating that the singer is subject to conservatorship against her will.

This leads to the hashtag #FreeBritney trending across social media. The campaign was originally started by fans in 2009 but gains greater notoriety as a result of the recent developments.

After a court hearing extending the conservatorship in May 2019, it is reported that Spears had asked the judge to end the guardianship.

Later in September 2019, Jamie Spears who is now Britney’s sole guardian asked to temporarily step aside from his guardianship duties. This was granted over her personal affairs but not her financial assets.

February - June 2021: Framing Britney Spears Documentary and Court Trial

After her conservatorship is extended multiple times in 2020, the singer’s legal situation reenters public debate after the release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears.

In June 2021, the singer appears in court and publically denounces the conservatorship for the first time in person by making a direct plea to the judge to remove her father from his position.

It is also revealed that Britney’s sister Jamie Lynn Spears had been made a trustee to the singer’s estate.

The judge would ultimately deny Britney’s request to remove her father as a guardian. However, Bessemer Trust, a wealth management company was also appointed as the singer’s co-guardian.

July 6, 2021: More Resignations

In early July it was reported by CNN that the trust had requested to resign from the position of co-conservator. They claimed this was due to “changed circumstances” following Britney’s outspoken comments against the conservatorship arrangement.

This resignation is later followed by her Manager of 25 years, Larry Rudolph and also her court appointed lawyer for the last 13 years, Samuel Ingham. The latter due to Spears’s express desire to choose her own lawyer.

July 14, 2021: Britney Is Allowed to Choose Her Own Lawyer

The request to select her own legal counsel is subsequently granted by Judge Penny of Los Angeles Superior Court on the 14th July 2021. Consequently, Spears opts to hire Mathew Rosengart, who joins his client in making a public call for Jamie Spears to resign from the conservatorship.

Spears herself makes a passionate appeal to the judge in court to end the conservatorship, claiming, “If this is not abuse, I don’t know what is”.

Britney’s legal team officially files a petition for Jamie Spears to be removed as Britney’s conservator.

Mathew Rosengart, Britney’s lawyer, refers to the arrangement as a “Kafkaesque nightmare” in court papers and requests the appointment of accountant Jason Rubin to manage the singer’s estate instead. It is said that Britney has selected Rubin herself.

The matter is to be examined further in a scheduled hearing on September 29. In this hearing, the petition to remove Mr Spears from his daughter’s conservatorship will be assessed.

Rubin has been chosen as the conservator candidate partially due to his background in handling large and complicated trust portfolios, such as Spears’s. He has also managed numerous cases which have involved exploitation of conservatees before his appointment.

Spears’s estate is currently documented as having non-cash assets worth over $57 million. This is in addition to cash assets of $2.7 million.

The Britney Spears case demonstrates the importance of having an estate plan and the ability to choose who can manage your affairs. Most people, fortunately, aren’t put in the same position as Britney at such a young age. However, in later life, this is a situation that can often arise.

Legal processes such as conservatorship and power of attorney can grant a lot of external control over your life. However, having a clear estate plan can help ensure you have a lot more choice over who manages your affairs if an agent needs to be appointed on your behalf.

August 12, 2021: Jamie Spears Announces His Intention to Step Down as Britney’s Conservator

There is a small setback on August 9, where Judge Penny denies Britney and her legal team’s request to expedite the process of removing Jamie Spears to the end of August.

However, shortly after a major development occurs. Jamie Spears announces in a court filing on August 12, that he intends to cooperate and engage in an “orderly transition” to end his 13-year conservatorship over his daughter. This marks the first time that Mr Spears himself has made it clear that he would be willing to resign as her conservator.

Britney’s legal team, led by Mathew Rosengart, hails the move as a “major victory for Britney Spears and another step towards justice”. However, they call for Jamie Spears to “remain silent and step aside immediately”.

Whilst Jamie Spears didn’t set a deadline for when he would officially hand over control of the conservatorship, he did indicate he would do so when “the time is right”. He also added via comment from his legal team that he didn’t believe “a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in Ms. Spears’ best interests”.

The next hearing for the case is set for September 29.

September 8, 2021: Jamie Spears Files a Request to End the Conservatorship

In another major development, Jamie Spears’s legal team files a request to terminate the 13-year-long conservatorship over his daughter. He cites “recent events” as the reason to end the controversial legal powers he has over Britney Spears’s finances and personal life.

In the filing, it is claimed that Mr Spears only wanted “what is best for his daughter”, although added that he acknowledged that Britney “wants control of her life back without the safety rails of a conservatorship”. It also said that “Mr Spears believes she should get that chance”.

Mathew Rosengart, Britney Spears’s lawyer, referred to the filing as “vindication for Ms. Spears”. He also added that his client will continue to “explore all options”.

September 13, 2021: Britney Spears Announces Her Engagement to Boyfriend Sam Asghari

Following the events of the previous week, Britney Spears reveals she is engaged to Sam Asghari who she has been dating since around 2016.

She announces the engagement on Instagram, showing a large diamond ring with the word “lioness” engraved on the band.

Under the conservatorship, Britney is allowed to marry although it must be approved by the conservator first. In court in June, she had previously stated that one of the reasons she had wanted to end the legal arrangement was so she could marry Ashgari and have a baby with him.

September 29, 2021: Jamie Spears Suspended as Britney’s Conservator

At the September 29th hearing of the Spears conservatorship case, Judge Brenda Penny suspends Jamie Spears as his daughter’s conservator.

He is to relinquishes control of Britney’s $60 million estate after 13 years. A temporary conservator takes his place.

The judge notes that the situation with Mr Spears having control over Britney’s life is “not tenable” and “toxic”. The news is welcomed by Mathew Rosengart, Ms Spears’s lawyer, who claimed that the decision is “a substantial step toward [Britney Spears’s] freedom”.

John Zabel, an accountant, is named as the successor to Jamie Spears as conservator. Mr Spears must now hand over all documents relating to the conservatorship to Mr Zabel.

The next hearing of the case is scheduled for November 12th, in which the request to terminate the conservatorship entirely is to be reviewed. There is also an additional hearing scheduled on December 13, to address any unresolved matters.

November 12, 2021: Judge Penny Ends the Conservatorship of Britney Spears

Judge Brenda Penny formally ends the conservatorship of Britney Spears’ estate after 13 years.

For the first time since 2008 the singer once again has personal legal control over her own affairs.

The decision is hailed by Spears’ attorney Mathew Rosengart who declares that “Britney Spears is once again a free woman”. He also adds that a “safety net” is in place to protect her health and financial security.

The judge ordered that Britney’s temporary conservator, John Zabel, should transfer her assets into her trust.

Whilst this is a major victory for the singer, this is not yet the end of court action against her father.

Further hearings are set to take place to order Mr Spears to hand over alleged surveillance data of his daughter. Forensic accountants are also investigating the financial handling of the singer’s estate by her father.

December 8, 2021: Courts Rule That Britney Spears Can Handle Her Own Finances

In another legal triumph for Britney Spears, Judge Brenda penny ruled that the pop star is now free to manage her own finances and conduct business.

The ruling read, “The court further finds and orders that Britney Jean Spears has the ability to execute documents transacting business on her own behalf and that any previous order entered by this court regarding restricting her ability to sign estate plan documents revoked.”

Following this victory, Spear’s lawyer, Matthew Rosengart, referenced the November 12th termination of Spears’ conservatorship by saying “It wasn’t a surprise to hear Judge Penny say that, but it was confirmatory of what we all know based on Nov. 12”. He also added that she now has “the power to do whatever she wants to do”.

As of this last hearing, Britney’s temporary conservator, accountant John Zabel will keep his limited powers until the next legal proceeding on January. The upcoming hearing has been set for January 28, 2022, at 11 AM, and is expected to deal with account matters and petitions related to substituted judgement.

How Estate Planning Can Help You Choose Your Own Agent

The Britney Spears case demonstrates the importance of having an estate plan and the ability to choose who can manage your affairs. Most people, fortunately, aren’t put in the same position as Britney at such a young age. However, in later life, this is a situation that can often arise.

Legal processes such as conservatorship and power of attorney can grant a lot of external control over your life. However, having a clear estate plan can help ensure you have a lot more choice over who manages your affairs if an agent needs to be appointed on your behalf.


Start a Free Power of Attorney

Important Facts About The Britney Spears Case

There are a lot of facts at play in this specific case that are crucial to understanding what has happened to the singer. These are explained below.

  • What Happened to Britney Spears?

    Britney Spears experienced a breakdown in her mental health in 2008 after years of being in the public eye.

    As a result, her father and an attorney were appointed as co-conservators over her personal and financial affairs. This continued until 2019 when Andrew Wallet the lawyer appointed to manage her financial affairs stepped down. This left her father as her sole guardian.

    However, between 2019 and 2021, the singer made it clear publically that she wished for the conservatorship to end and for her father to step down from his role as guardian.

  • Why Did Britney Spears Need a Conservatorship?

    It was argued at the time of the original conservatorship in 2008 that Britney Spears needed guardianship to help manage her vast estate and improve her mental health. This was formalized the same year by LA County Superior Court.

    However, this legal situation did not change for 13 years and the singer continued to have a legally required guardian to make decisions for her. This led to questions about whether the singer was being exploited by the arrangement in which she continued to work and performed publically.

  • How Much is Britney Spears Worth?

    Britney Spears’s estate is valued at around $60 million which has been earned by her singing career, public performances, and other ventures. Much of this is held in investments and real estate as well as cash.

  • How Old is Britney Spears? And her kids?

    Britney Spears was born in 1981. She first came to fame aged 17 when her 1999 single Baby One More Time experienced huge chart success.

    However, at age 27 she suffered mental health problems and a conservatorship was created for her. As of 2021, the 39-year-old Spears remains under this legal protection although has publicly objected to its continued use.

    Following a public outcry and a legal challenge by the singer herself Judge Brenda Penny of the Los Angeles Superior Court formally ended the conservatorship in November 2021.

Britney Spears has been all over the headlines recently with her court case to end her father’s conservatorship over her estate. It has already sparked a huge debate about the laws surrounding conservatorship.

But what led to Britney being in this position in the first place? Conservatorship (also known sometimes as legal guardianship) is usually only granted to minors and aged individual , so how is it an adult celebrity has been caught in this legal situation?

We are going to look back over the case history of Britney’s conservatorship to provide a clear timeline of what happened to her.

The Complete Timeline of Britney’s Conservatorship

Since experiencing a mental health crisis in 2008 the famed singer had control of her estate taken away from her for 13 years. Instead, she had court-appointed guardians managing much of her life despite maintaining a public profile in the spotlight.

This is how eventsunfolded for Britney:

Britney Spears' conservatorship infographic

2007: Public Breakdown

Britney Spears is seen in public behaving erratically on a number of occasions. This includes shaving her head, driving with her baby son sitting on her lap, being wheeled out of her home on a stretcher, and speaking in a British accent.

2008: The Origins of Britney’s Conservatorship

After a period of commitment in a psychiatric facility, Spears is judged by Los Angeles Superior Court to be incapable of managing her own estate.

As a result, her father Jamie Spears is named her co-guardian, along with LA lawyer Andrew Wallet. Spears senior is made responsible for Britney’s estate and physical wellbeing, while Wallet manages the singer’s financial assets.

2008 - 2019: The Appearance of Normality

Things appear to return to normality as Britney starts to perform again and appear in public as she had before. However, the conservatorship continues to be renewed in private leaving Spears with little control over her life choices.

January - March 2019: Conservatorship in Crisis

In January 2019 Britney Spears suddenly cancels a show in Las Vegas citing the ill health of her father who was hospitalized the previous November. In March of the same year, Andrew Wallet resigns from his position as co-guardian.

April - September 2019: The “Free Britney” Movement Gains Momentum

Britney Spears checks into a mental health facility for 30 days and rumors start publically circulating that the singer is subject to conservatorship against her will.

This leads to the hashtag #FreeBritney trending across social media. The campaign was originally started by fans in 2009 but gains greater notoriety as a result of the recent developments.

After a court hearing extending the conservatorship in May 2019, it is reported that Spears had asked the judge to end the guardianship.

Later in September 2019, Jamie Spears who is now Britney’s sole guardian asked to temporarily step aside from his guardianship duties. This was granted over her personal affairs but not her financial assets.

February - June 2021: Framing Britney Spears Documentary and Court Trial

After her conservatorship is extended multiple times in 2020, the singer’s legal situation reenters public debate after the release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears.

In June 2021, the singer appears in court and publically denounces the conservatorship for the first time in person by making a direct plea to the judge to remove her father from his position.

It is also revealed that Britney’s sister Jamie Lynn Spears had been made a trustee to the singer’s estate.

The judge would ultimately deny Britney’s request to remove her father as a guardian. However, Bessemer Trust, a wealth management company was also appointed as the singer’s co-guardian.

July 6, 2021: More Resignations

In early July it was reported by CNN that the trust had requested to resign from the position of co-conservator. They claimed this was due to “changed circumstances” following Britney’s outspoken comments against the conservatorship arrangement.

This resignation is later followed by her Manager of 25 years, Larry Rudolph and also her court appointed lawyer for the last 13 years, Samuel Ingham. The latter due to Spears’s express desire to choose her own lawyer.

July 14, 2021: Britney Is Allowed to Choose Her Own Lawyer

The request to select her own legal counsel is subsequently granted by Judge Penny of Los Angeles Superior Court on the 14th July 2021. Consequently, Spears opts to hire Mathew Rosengart, who joins his client in making a public call for Jamie Spears to resign from the conservatorship.

Spears herself makes a passionate appeal to the judge in court to end the conservatorship, claiming, “If this is not abuse, I don’t know what is”.

Britney’s legal team officially files a petition for Jamie Spears to be removed as Britney’s conservator.

Mathew Rosengart, Britney’s lawyer, refers to the arrangement as a “Kafkaesque nightmare” in court papers and requests the appointment of accountant Jason Rubin to manage the singer’s estate instead. It is said that Britney has selected Rubin herself.

The matter is to be examined further in a scheduled hearing on September 29. In this hearing, the petition to remove Mr Spears from his daughter’s conservatorship will be assessed.

Rubin has been chosen as the conservator candidate partially due to his background in handling large and complicated trust portfolios, such as Spears’s. He has also managed numerous cases which have involved exploitation of conservatees before his appointment.

Spears’s estate is currently documented as having non-cash assets worth over $57 million. This is in addition to cash assets of $2.7 million.

The Britney Spears case demonstrates the importance of having an estate plan and the ability to choose who can manage your affairs. Most people, fortunately, aren’t put in the same position as Britney at such a young age. However, in later life, this is a situation that can often arise.

Legal processes such as conservatorship and power of attorney can grant a lot of external control over your life. However, having a clear estate plan can help ensure you have a lot more choice over who manages your affairs if an agent needs to be appointed on your behalf.

August 12, 2021: Jamie Spears Announces His Intention to Step Down as Britney’s Conservator

There is a small setback on August 9, where Judge Penny denies Britney and her legal team’s request to expedite the process of removing Jamie Spears to the end of August.

However, shortly after a major development occurs. Jamie Spears announces in a court filing on August 12, that he intends to cooperate and engage in an “orderly transition” to end his 13-year conservatorship over his daughter. This marks the first time that Mr Spears himself has made it clear that he would be willing to resign as her conservator.

Britney’s legal team, led by Mathew Rosengart, hails the move as a “major victory for Britney Spears and another step towards justice”. However, they call for Jamie Spears to “remain silent and step aside immediately”.

Whilst Jamie Spears didn’t set a deadline for when he would officially hand over control of the conservatorship, he did indicate he would do so when “the time is right”. He also added via comment from his legal team that he didn’t believe “a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in Ms. Spears’ best interests”.

The next hearing for the case is set for September 29.

September 8, 2021: Jamie Spears Files a Request to End the Conservatorship

In another major development, Jamie Spears’s legal team files a request to terminate the 13-year-long conservatorship over his daughter. He cites “recent events” as the reason to end the controversial legal powers he has over Britney Spears’s finances and personal life.

In the filing, it is claimed that Mr Spears only wanted “what is best for his daughter”, although added that he acknowledged that Britney “wants control of her life back without the safety rails of a conservatorship”. It also said that “Mr Spears believes she should get that chance”.

Mathew Rosengart, Britney Spears’s lawyer, referred to the filing as “vindication for Ms. Spears”. He also added that his client will continue to “explore all options”.

September 13, 2021: Britney Spears Announces Her Engagement to Boyfriend Sam Asghari

Following the events of the previous week, Britney Spears reveals she is engaged to Sam Asghari who she has been dating since around 2016.

She announces the engagement on Instagram, showing a large diamond ring with the word “lioness” engraved on the band.

Under the conservatorship, Britney is allowed to marry although it must be approved by the conservator first. In court in June, she had previously stated that one of the reasons she had wanted to end the legal arrangement was so she could marry Ashgari and have a baby with him.

September 29, 2021: Jamie Spears Suspended as Britney’s Conservator

At the September 29th hearing of the Spears conservatorship case, Judge Brenda Penny suspends Jamie Spears as his daughter’s conservator.

He is to relinquishes control of Britney’s $60 million estate after 13 years. A temporary conservator takes his place.

The judge notes that the situation with Mr Spears having control over Britney’s life is “not tenable” and “toxic”. The news is welcomed by Mathew Rosengart, Ms Spears’s lawyer, who claimed that the decision is “a substantial step toward [Britney Spears’s] freedom”.

John Zabel, an accountant, is named as the successor to Jamie Spears as conservator. Mr Spears must now hand over all documents relating to the conservatorship to Mr Zabel.

The next hearing of the case is scheduled for November 12th, in which the request to terminate the conservatorship entirely is to be reviewed. There is also an additional hearing scheduled on December 13, to address any unresolved matters.

November 12, 2021: Judge Penny Ends the Conservatorship of Britney Spears

Judge Brenda Penny formally ends the conservatorship of Britney Spears’ estate after 13 years.

For the first time since 2008 the singer once again has personal legal control over her own affairs.

The decision is hailed by Spears’ attorney Mathew Rosengart who declares that “Britney Spears is once again a free woman”. He also adds that a “safety net” is in place to protect her health and financial security.

The judge ordered that Britney’s temporary conservator, John Zabel, should transfer her assets into her trust.

Whilst this is a major victory for the singer, this is not yet the end of court action against her father.

Further hearings are set to take place to order Mr Spears to hand over alleged surveillance data of his daughter. Forensic accountants are also investigating the financial handling of the singer’s estate by her father.

December 8, 2021: Courts Rule That Britney Spears Can Handle Her Own Finances

In another legal triumph for Britney Spears, Judge Brenda penny ruled that the pop star is now free to manage her own finances and conduct business.

The ruling read, “The court further finds and orders that Britney Jean Spears has the ability to execute documents transacting business on her own behalf and that any previous order entered by this court regarding restricting her ability to sign estate plan documents revoked.”

Following this victory, Spear’s lawyer, Matthew Rosengart, referenced the November 12th termination of Spears’ conservatorship by saying “It wasn’t a surprise to hear Judge Penny say that, but it was confirmatory of what we all know based on Nov. 12”. He also added that she now has “the power to do whatever she wants to do”.

As of this last hearing, Britney’s temporary conservator, accountant John Zabel will keep his limited powers until the next legal proceeding on January. The upcoming hearing has been set for January 28, 2022, at 11 AM, and is expected to deal with account matters and petitions related to substituted judgement.

How Estate Planning Can Help You Choose Your Own Agent

The Britney Spears case demonstrates the importance of having an estate plan and the ability to choose who can manage your affairs. Most people, fortunately, aren’t put in the same position as Britney at such a young age. However, in later life, this is a situation that can often arise.

Legal processes such as conservatorship and power of attorney can grant a lot of external control over your life. However, having a clear estate plan can help ensure you have a lot more choice over who manages your affairs if an agent needs to be appointed on your behalf.


Start a Free Power of Attorney

Important Facts About The Britney Spears Case

There are a lot of facts at play in this specific case that are crucial to understanding what has happened to the singer. These are explained below.

  • What Happened to Britney Spears?

    Britney Spears experienced a breakdown in her mental health in 2008 after years of being in the public eye.

    As a result, her father and an attorney were appointed as co-conservators over her personal and financial affairs. This continued until 2019 when Andrew Wallet the lawyer appointed to manage her financial affairs stepped down. This left her father as her sole guardian.

    However, between 2019 and 2021, the singer made it clear publically that she wished for the conservatorship to end and for her father to step down from his role as guardian.

  • Why Did Britney Spears Need a Conservatorship?

    It was argued at the time of the original conservatorship in 2008 that Britney Spears needed guardianship to help manage her vast estate and improve her mental health. This was formalized the same year by LA County Superior Court.

    However, this legal situation did not change for 13 years and the singer continued to have a legally required guardian to make decisions for her. This led to questions about whether the singer was being exploited by the arrangement in which she continued to work and performed publically.

  • How Much is Britney Spears Worth?

    Britney Spears’s estate is valued at around $60 million which has been earned by her singing career, public performances, and other ventures. Much of this is held in investments and real estate as well as cash.

  • How Old is Britney Spears? And her kids?

    Britney Spears was born in 1981. She first came to fame aged 17 when her 1999 single Baby One More Time experienced huge chart success.

    However, at age 27 she suffered mental health problems and a conservatorship was created for her. As of 2021, the 39-year-old Spears remains under this legal protection although has publicly objected to its continued use.

    Following a public outcry and a legal challenge by the singer herself Judge Brenda Penny of the Los Angeles Superior Court formally ended the conservatorship in November 2021.