A Guardian is a person appointed by the Court to make decisions concerning a minor or an incapacitated person's physical needs (referred to as the ward). An incapacitated person is someone who is physically and/or mentally unable to care for himself/herself.
Once the petition for appointment of a Guardian is filed for an adult, a physician must examine the ward and render a report of his/her findings. In addition, the Court will appoint a Court Representative and a Guardian ad litem. In the case of a minor the Court will only appoint a Guardian ad litem.
A Conservator is a person appointed by the Court to manage the assets and financial matters of a minor or an incapacitated person (referred to as a Ward). An incapacitated person is someone who is physically and/or mentally unable to care for himself/herself.
The parent of a minor or someone who has been appointed by the court to be responsible for the personal care of an individual.
WHAT IS A WARD?
Legal name for a person for whom a guardian has been appointed.
WHO CAN BE A GUARDIAN FOR AN ADULT?
Any qualified person may be appointed. However, the law establishes the following priorities:
WHO CAN BE GUARDIAN FOR A CHILD?
The court may appoint any person who will be in the best interest of the minor. However, if the minor is 14 years old or older, the minor's nominee must be appointed unless the appointment is contrary to the minor's best interest.
Also, a parental nomination has priority.
CAN A PARENT APPOINT A GUARDIAN?
Yes, in a Will a parent may appoint a guardian for a minor child of for an unmarried incapacitated child.
CAN A SPOUSE APPOINT A GUARDIAN?
Yes, in a Will a person may appoint a guardian for his or her incapacitated spouse.
WHAT ARE THE POWERS OF A GUARDIAN?
[court may limit powers of guardianship]
WHEN DOES A GUARDIANSHIP END?
WHAT IS A CONSERVATOR?
A person who is appointed by the court to manage the property of a minor or incapacitated person.
WHO IS AN INCAPACITATED PERSON?
A person who is unable to manage property and business affairs because of....
WHO CAN SERVE AS A CONSERVATOR?
A family member or any interested person with the priorities as follows:
WHEN CAN A CONSERVATOR
A conservator may be appointed when an incapacitated person:
Is unable to manage property and business affairs; and
has property that will be wasted without proper management; or
(b) funds are needed to support the incapacitated person or one entitled support from the incapacitated person.
WHAT ARE THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF A CONSERVATOR?
Without court authorization the conservator may:
[court may limit powers of conservator]
With prior court authorization the conservator may:
AM I REQUIRED
TO HAVE A LAWYER?
The legal complexity of guardianships and conservatorship normally necessitates having an attorney since the Probate Judge cannot advise you of the law or provide you with forms.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GUARDIAN AND A CONSERVATOR?
The guardian looks after the person and their welfare while a conservator looks after their estate.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS FOLLOWED IN APPOINTING A GUARDIAN OR CONSERVATOR FOR AN ADULT?
IS A BOND REQUIRED?
Yes, a bond is required for conservatorship unless the bond requirement was waived in a will or power of attorney.
IS AN INVENTORY REQUIRED?
Each conservator must complete an inventory of the estate immediately and file it with the court within 90 days after appointment.
ARE ACCOUNTINGS REQUIRED?
Yes, a conservator must give an accounting to the court at least every three years. The court may order an accounting more frequently. An accounting is also required upon the resignation or removal of the conservator.