Family Law Group

Guardianship & Conservatorship

Taking care of the ones you love

What is the difference between a Guardianship and a Conservatorship?

A Guardian is someone who has been appointed by the Court to manage the care and health needs of an individual who is unable to manage their own personal care. This may be an adult who is incapacitated, or a minor child whose parents are unable to care for them. Upon appointment by the Court, a guardian is legally authorized to manage the care for the individual.


A Conservator is someone appointed by the Court to manage the finances and personal affairs of someone who is unable do so for themselves. This can be a minor child who may be inheriting or receiving benefits, or an adult who is unable to manage their affairs, and that their property will be wasted or dissipated unless management is provided.

There are ways to plan ahead in order to reduce the need for a guardian. Powers of attorney can cover many of the same needs, and allow an agent to act on behalf of the incapacitated individual without the need for Court involvement.

Planning ahead is the best way to reduce guardianship and conservatorship needs. However, there are many cases where someone has not planned ahead, or where a situation has arisen that means they cannot do so. To be appointed as a guardian and/or conservator requires a court hearing, and guardianship and conservatorship hearings have strict procedural requirements. Moreover, if you are appointed as guardian or conservator, you will need to file yearly reports with the Court.

Learn how we can help. Set an appointment to talk with one of our attorneys to discuss your situation.