In the court of law, an adult who is unable to take care of themselves or their property and minors are considered to be incapacitated persons. An incapacitated adult or minor will need someone to oversee them, assuring their safety and well-being. Enter guardians and conservators, who are there to serve and protect their loved one’s best interests. While these two titles both require one to care for an incapacitated adult or minor, each functions very differently.

So, what is the difference between a guardian and a conservator?

The term guardian is probably one you’re familiar with. A guardian will protect an individual by taking care of that individual’s personal needs. This could be something such as:

  • Making sure the individual is receiving proper medical attention
  • Providing the individual an appropriate amount of food and clothing
  • Making sure the individual’s home is safe
  • And finally, making sure the individual is living in an acceptable area

In other words, guardians look out for the well-being of an incapacitated adult or minor.

While a guardian looks over the well-being of an incapacitated adult or minor, a conservator focuses more so on the individual’s property and assets. A conservator is responsible for items such as:

  • Collecting, investing and preserving the individual’s personal property such as checking and savings accounts
  • Preserving and maintaining any real property
  • Bringing necessary litigation on behalf of the incapacitated
  • Generally support and care for the individual, as well as assure they benefit the individual.

As mentioned already, guardians and conservators both work with an incapacitated individual to assure they are serving and protecting the individual’s best interests. With that said, being a conservator is not easy. There’s a lot of numbers and money involved. So much so that it can become difficult to manage, especially if you are both the guardian and conservator. But that’s why we are here.

The Probate ProSM provides guidance to those serving as guardians and conservators to make sure that everyone involved can rest easy. If you or someone you know may need a guardianship or conservatorship, call us at 1-877-YOUR-FIRM to meet with one of our attorneys today.