Conservatorships / Guardianships
A conservatorship is a court proceeding where an individual (the conservator) is appointed to manage the healthcare and/or financial affairs of an elder or dependent adult (the conservatee). A “conservator of the person” is appointed when the elder or dependent adult is unable to care for themselves in providing for his or her personal needs involving physical health, medical care, food, clothing, or shelter. A “conservator of the estate” is appointed when the elder or dependent adult is substantially unable to manage his or her own finances or unable to resist fraud or undue influence. The same person may act as both the conservator of the person and of the estate.
A guardianship is similar to a conservatorship, but instead involves minor children rather than an elder/dependent adult.
With adequate planning, conservatorships and/or guardianships can generally be avoided. Establishing a conservatorship (or guardianship) is often a time-consuming and complex process. While such proceedings provide a certain defined structure that may be helpful in certain situations, the same structure may prove to be too rigid in adapting to various issues down the road. Conservatorships (and guardianships) are typically expensive to initiate and also to maintain in the long run.
We encourage you to contact our firm to see what planning devices may be utilized to circumvent the necessity of a conservatorship or guardianship.