Lessons Learned From Britney Spears’ Financial Conservatorship

The pop star’s recent memoir reveals the toll her involuntary conservatorship took on her and spotlights the drawbacks of these legal arrangements.

Britney Spears dancing onstage in a dense fog.
Britney Spears performs in National Harbor, Md., on July 12, 2018, during her Piece of Me tour.
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/BCU18/Getty Images for BCU)

The ongoing saga of Britney Spears and her conservatorship has shone a spotlight on the challenges associated with financial conservatorships, exposing both their potential benefits and serious pitfalls.

This legal arrangement, meant to protect those unable to handle their affairs due to mental or physical challenges, can transform into a precarious situation when misused. Spears' story, as told in her recent memoir, The Woman in Me, serves as a stark example of how a well-intentioned legal tool can turn into a distressing ordeal, sparking a call for reforms to uphold the autonomy and rights of individuals under conservatorships. Here are several possible reasons a conservatorship might go awry.

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Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA®, CES™
President & CEO, Francis Financial Inc.

Stacy is a nationally recognized financial expert and the President and CEO of Francis Financial Inc., which she founded 15 years ago. She is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) who provides advice to women going through transitions, such as divorce, widowhood and sudden wealth. She is also the founder of Savvy Ladies™, a nonprofit that has provided free personal finance education and resources to over 15,000 women.