What is the Difference Between Guardianship and Conservatorship?

When it comes to guardianships and conservatorships, there are many similarities between the two. That said, a guardianship is typically geared more towards assistance with medical and health-related needs while conservatorships are designed to assist with financial needs. However, both are court-ordered as a result of a family member’s request when their loved one is no longer capable of making their own decisions. Depending on your loved one’s situation, one of these options may be more suitable for you.

Why is a Guardian or Conservator Necessary?

There are many reasons why it may be necessary to seek control of a loved one’s personal or financial affairs.

Below is a list of some examples:

  • Your loved one is older and is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
  • You have a child who is 18 years of age, but has special needs
  • Your loved one suffered a severe injury or illness and can no longer manage their affairs

Dementia and cognitive decline, in general, are among some of the biggest reasons why family members choose to establish conservatorship or guardianship. For example, if your mother’s power was cut because she lives alone, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and forgot to pay the electricity bill, she may need assistance managing financial matters. Under these circumstances, you may seek to establish a limited guardianship or conservatorship.

More About the Differences

Guardians generally make decisions for another person’s safety, medical treatment, and living arrangements. It is often granted when the person has been deemed incompetent or incapacitated by the court. Conservators, on the other hand, are given the authority to make financial decisions on behalf of someone who is either incompetent or incapacitated. They are typically given the authority to manage one’s finances by managing cash flow, investments, bank accounts, and more.

Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Family Law Attorney to Discuss Your Case

If you are seeking guardianship or conservatorship on behalf of a loved one, the legal team at Fait & DiLima, LLP can provide the guidance you need to navigate this process. Backed by more than 50 years of combined experience, you can rely on our attorneys to obtain the best results possible.

Reach out to our law office today at (301) 251-0100 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to get started.



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