In and earlier blog, we discussed that sometimes it is deem necessary for a person to have legal protection after they have entered adulthood because of an injury, medical reasons or mental illness that prevents them from caring for themselves or managing their finances or property.

In these instances, the law allows for someone to be named guardian or conservator for the individual needing help.

We’ll take a closer look at what it means to be a guardian or a conservator.

The guardian is responsible for:
• Determining and maintaining residence of the incapacitated adult
• Providing informed consent to medical treatment and supervising the treatment
• Consenting to and supervising non-medical services such as education, psychiatric or behavioral counseling
• Making end-of-life decisions
• Paying debts and other expenses
• Maintaining their autonomy as much as possible

The guardian may be required to report to the court about their activities on an annual basis.

A conservator is responsible for:
• Organizing, gathering and protecting assets
• Arranging appraisals of property
• Safeguarding property and assets from loss whenever possible
• Managing income from assets
• Making appropriate payments
• Obtaining court approval prior to any sale of major assets
• And reporting to the court the estate’s status on a regular basis

A guardianship or conservatorship is put in place to protect a person and ensure their needs are met. Many are temporary arrangements, meant to protect an incapacitated individual until he or she regains capacity.

Estate Planning and Administration