Brian Wilson, Beach Boys Visionary, Is Placed Under Conservatorship


A judge in California has ruled that Brian Wilson, the 81-year-old chief musical visionary of the Beach Boys, will be placed under a conservatorship following the death of his wife, who had cared for him as he struggled with a neurocognitive disorder.

On Thursday, Judge Gus T. May of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, approved a petition filed in February by lawyers for the potential conservators after the death of Mr. Wilson’s wife of 28 years, Melinda Wilson, on Jan. 30. The petition said a neurocognitive disorder had made Mr. Wilson “unable to properly provide for his own personal needs for physical health.”

The judge said in the filing that there was “clear and convincing evidence” that the conservatorship was necessary and appropriate because Mr. Wilson was “unable to care for” himself and he lacked the capacity to make decisions about his own health and medications.

He also said that evidence showed that Mr. Wilson had consented to the arrangement.

In a statement in February, Mr. Wilson’s family confirmed that LeeAnn Hard, his business manager, and Jean Sievers, his publicist and manager, would serve as co-conservators, in line with “family processes” that had been put in place by Mr. Wilson and his wife, who died at their home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“This decision was made to ensure that there will be no extreme changes to the household, and Brian and the children living at home will be taken care of and remain in the home where they are cared for,” by a team that had been in place at the house for years, the family statement said.

“Brian will be able to enjoy all of his family and friends and continue to work on current projects as well as participate in any activities he chooses,” it said.

The judge, in addition to affirming the representatives as conservators, granted a request by two of Mr. Wilson’s seven children, Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson of the singing group Wilson Phillips, for all of the children to be consulted on health care decisions and to be added, if they chose, to group texts on updates from nurses.

In an email to The New York Times in February, Ms. Sievers said Mr. Wilson had been diagnosed with dementia and that as a co-conservator, she would “ensure that all of Brian’s daily living needs are satisfied and he continues to lead an active life.” She said on Friday that she had no further comment.

Mr. Wilson has struggled for years with mental health challenges, including depression and a schizoaffective disorder diagnosis, which manifested itself in auditory hallucinations, even while working on tour and in the studio as the creative force behind the Beach Boys.

His wife, whom he met in 1986, had served as his health care agent at the end of her life, according to court filings. They married in 1995 and adopted five children. Mr. Wilson credited her with helping to stabilize his life and career.

“Melinda was more than my wife,” Mr. Wilson wrote on Instagram in January when he confirmed her death. “She was my savior. She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career. She encouraged me to make the music that was closest to my heart. She was my anchor.”





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