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A Guardian is a person appointed by the Court to make medical and placement decisions for a loved one who is no longer capable of handling his or her own affairs. Once appointed, the Guardian directs medical care, makes placement decisions, and files an Annual Guardian’s Report with the Court.
A Conservator is a person appointed by the Court to manage the finances and assets of a loved one who is no longer able to administer his or her property. Once appointed, the Conservator is in charge of managing the income and assets, and is responsible for paying all expenses. Each year, the Conservator is required to file an Annual Accounting with the court.
Guardianship and Conservatorship proceedings may be necessary for either incapacitated adults or minor children. Additionally, it is not uncommon to petition the Court to appoint both a Guardian and Conservator in the same proceeding.
Before petitioning the Court to be appointed as Guardian or Conservator, it is important to determine if a less restrictive option is available. Examples of less restrictive options include the nomination of a Health Care Representative under an Advance Directive or an Agent under a Durable Power of Attorney.