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What to know about guardianships and conservatorships 

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Guardianships & Conservatorships |

Finding yourself in a position where you have to make a difficult decision on how to care for your aging parents is undeniably difficult. You’re facing a role-reversal situation and the thought of your parents not being able to look after themselves is one no one really wants to face. 

You want to do the right thing for them but it’s hard to know how that looks. Two terms that are used a lot in elder care are Guardianship and Conservatorship. Below is a bit more information about each one. 

A conservator is court-appointed  

If you or other family members are concerned about your parent’s ability to manage their own finances, this is where a conservatorship can be useful. The person nominated to take on the role of a conservator can be a family member or it can be a close friend. The court awards them the legal authority to make financial decisions for the conservatee. 

A guardianship affords more powers 

This individual has control over day-to-day decisions that need to be made when a person no longer has the capacity to make those decisions for themselves.

There are two types of guardianship available: guardian of person and guardian of property and they each have separate roles and responsibilities. It can be the same person or a separate guardian can be allocated for each type of guardianship. 

It’s often more difficult to set up a guardianship. This is because you need to have the court’s agreement that the individual no longer has capacity. The guardian of the person has legal powers to make medical and even end-of-life decisions while the guardian of property can make all important financial decisions. It’s a role that comes with significant responsibility.  

It’s important to make an informed decision on both guardianships and conservatorships. Finding out more about what each one entails is a good place to start.