Conservatorship vs. Guardianship: What You Should Know

Posted on the behalf of Robert Turner,
An attorney consulting a cleint and revising documents.

When a person can no longer care for themselves, physically or financially, a conservator or guardian could be necessary to ensure they get the care they need. These arrangements are very different, although they are often confused.

What is a Limited Conservatorship?

A conservatorship is often mandated by the court when a person can no longer care for themselves. It could be a close relative of the person that petitions the court to appoint a conservator, or simply a friend or even a public official, like someone from the Department of Human Services after they’ve been notified that the person in question is no longer able to care for themselves.

A conservator may be appointed to care for a person’s physical needs, such as acting as or arranging for a caregiver. They could be tasked with managing their financial affairs. Some conservators take on both roles, or there are two, one for each. Conservators must regularly provide accounting or medical reports to the court, making this a better option when more oversight of a person’s care is necessary.

What is a Guardianship?

Guardianship is often reserved for a child or adult still legally classified as a dependent. It ensures that they receive all the care and financial support they need from a person who acts as a guardian, often having all the same rights and responsibilities as a biological parent. There is less legal oversight, and the guardian is most likely to be someone the dependent already knows. This arrangement could be temporary until a more permanent legal guardianship or other arrangement is made for their care.

Which is Best for Your Loved One?

There are several factors to consider when choosing the type of legal oversight your loved one needs. Any legal paperwork filed before the person’s inability to care for themselves may affect the decision, such as a living will, trust or power of attorney. The court may also be the one to decide what they feel is in the best interests of the person requiring oversight.

If it’s time to arrange for the care of a loved one or you are facing the possibility of court-mandated organized care, contact Turner Law to learn more about your options. Call today to schedule a free initial phone consultation.

Posted on behalf of Turner Law, LLC