What's the Difference Between Guardians & Conservators?

The line between guardians and conservators can be murky, and definitions can change state-by-state. If you find yourself involved in a guardianship or conservatorship case, understanding the difference is vital - and we're here to help you do just that.

To schedule a consultation with our team and find the best path forward in your guardianship or conservatorship case, contact us online or via phone at (719) 212-4227.

What's a Guardian?

A guardian fulfills the same role legally as a parent. Guardians are commonly involved in the following types of cases:

  • Instances where a child's parents cannot look after the child any longer due to a variety of issues (such as substance abuse, child abuse or neglect, etc.);
  • Instances where a child's parents die or are incapacitated, and specify an individual in their will(s) to act as a guardian for their child.

Guardians often have legal and physical custody over a child, enabling them to have all the legal rights a parent normally experiences.

What's a Conservator?

Conservators serve a fundamentally different role than guardians. Conservators are typically appointed when an individual lacks the capacity (mental or physical ability) to care for one or more aspects of their wellbeing. There are two basic types of conservators:

  • Medical conservators. A medical conservator handles an individual's healthcare. Medical conservators may do things such as filling their an individual's prescriptions for them, go with them to medical appointments, etc.
  • Financial conservators. Financial conservators handle an individual's estate, doing things such as managing their finances, deciding which assets to sell or maintain, etc.

Conservators and guardians must consistently report back to the court on their ward's status (the individual they're caring for) to ensure they're acting in that individual's best interests.

If you're involved in a conservatorship or guardianship case, we can help. Contact us online or via phone at (719) 212-4227 to learn more about our services.