By: Attorney Shira Truitt
A conservator and a guardian are both responsible for managing the affairs of another person, but they have different roles and responsibilities. It is important to understand the distinction between these two legal terms in order to determine the best course of action for an individual who is unable to manage their own affairs.
A conservator is a person who is appointed by a court to manage the financial affairs of another person, known as the conservatee. A conservator is responsible for paying bills, managing assets, and making financial decisions on behalf of the conservatee.
A guardian, on the other hand, is a person who is appointed by a court to make decisions about the personal care and well-being of another person, known as the ward. A guardian is responsible for making day-to-day decisions about the ward's living arrangements, medical care, and other aspects of their daily life.
In some cases, an individual may require both a conservator and a guardian. This may be necessary if the individual is unable to manage both their financial affairs and their personal care due to a physical or mental disability, or due to age.
You should be aware that a conservator or guardian is appointed by a court and must follow the terms of the court's order. They are required to act in the best interests of the conservatee or ward and to provide regular reports to the court on their actions and the ward's well-being. In some cases, an individual may require both a conservator and a guardian to ensure that all of their needs are met.
Whether a conservator or guardian is appointed will depend on what, if anything, the ward may need. It may be a good idea to work with the medical doctor(s), financial advisors, attorney, family, and caregivers to develop a plan to ensure that all needs are met. It's the right thing to do.
"Conservatorship and Guardianship in Missouri" (https://www.aging.mo.gov/aging-in-missouri/advanced-directives/conservatorship/)
"Conservatorship and Guardianship in Illinois" (https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/conservatorship-illinois)
"Conservatorship vs. Guardianship: What's the Difference?" (https://www.elderlawanswers.com/conservatorship-vs-guardianship-whats-the-difference-9057)
"Conservatorship and Guardianship: What's the Difference?" (https://www.lawfirms.com/resources/elder-law/conservatorship-and-guardianship-whats-difference)
If you need legal advice or a lawyer in Illinois or Missouri, please contact The Truitt Law Firm, LLC for assistance. For more information on The Truitt Law Firm, LLC or to schedule an appointment, please go to www.thetruittlawfirm.com.