A guardian is a person appointed by a Court to make decisions regarding the physical care of a minor or incapacitated person. The person for whom the guardian is appointed is also known as a “ward.” A guardianship may be temporary (limited duration) or permanent (indefinite duration).
A conservator is appointed when a person, referred to as the “protected person,” that has property that could be wasted unless properly managed, is unable to effectively do so for reasons such as mental illness, physical disability, chronic intoxication, confinement, or disappearance.
If a person is competent to make decisions for their person or their property, alternatives to guardianship or conservatorship must be explored. A person might only need a guardian, or only need a conservator. Or they may need both. The same person that is appointed guardian may also be appointed conservator.
The legal process for having a guardian and/or conservator appointed can be confusing and overwhelming. Both involve relatively complex proceedings before the Court.
A guardian or conservator may not be necessary if the ward or protected person has a trustee, or an agent authorized under a Power of Attorney or Health Care Power of Attorney to make decisions for them. Unfortunately, sometimes institutions refuse to honor these documents and a legal proceedings is the only solution.
Let Cotto Law Firm help you through this difficult process