August 13, 2021 | VICE — [Excerpt] In an effort to map out what might come next [for Britney Spears], VICE spoke with attorney Scott Rahn, a founding and managing partner of the California law firm RMO, and an expert on conservatorships who has kept close tabs on Britney’s case over the past year. He walked us through what Britney’s path to ending her conservatorship would look like step by step.
Now that Britney’s dad has announced he’s resigning, what will it take for him to actually do it?
In Wednesday’s filing, Jamie’s attorneys wrote that he won’t step down until he’s tied up a few loose ends related to his role as the conservator of Britney’s estate. The first order of business, they wrote, is finalizing the record of how he’s managed Britney’s finances over the past year.
As the conservator of Britney’s estate, Jamie is required to submit an “account” to the court roughly once a year detailing exactly how he’s spent her money over that time period, Rahn told VICE. Each time Jamie submits an account, Britney and her attorneys review it. They can ask questions about any expenses it contains, and contest those expenses if they wish—but whether they take issue with the account or not, ultimately, they sign off on it. From there, it goes to the judge for official approval.
So far, Jamie has had 11 of these accounts approved, representing about 11 years of the conservatorship—but the twelfth account, submitted to the court in August of 2020, has yet to be approved, court records show. Jamie, Britney, and their attorneys are still negotiating over that account, and Jamie won’t be ready to step down until it’s approved, his attorneys wrote in Wednesday’s filing. After that, he’ll have to submit a “final account,” which fills in the gap between the twelfth account and the end of his term as the conservator of Britney’s estate. Once the twelfth and final accounts are approved, “Mr. Spears will be in a position to step aside,” his attorneys wrote in Wednesday’s filing.
There’s a good reason Jamie would want to have those accounts approved before he resigns, Rahn said: He wants to make sure the court blesses how he’s handled Britney’s finances before he steps down, and avoid opening himself up to the risk of being sued for mismanaging Britney’s estate.
“Essentially, he’s saying, ‘Look, I don’t want to leave the conservatorship and then have an issue where you come back and you’re saying I did something wrong,’” Rahn said.