Guardianship v. Conservatorship

Utah Guardianship Attorney

The appointment of a guardian or conservator removes the right of a person to make his or her own decisions. Because of the removal of someone’s rights, it should be pursued only after considering less restrictive options. A guardian is an institution or person that has been appointed by the court to make decisions about the personal well-being of an incapacitated person. The decisions made for the protected person include their residency, health care, and education. A conservator is a person or institution appointed by the court to make decisions about a protected person’s estate. The estate includes all of his or her property, both business and personal. Some examples are income, real property, and personal property.  A conservator must use reasonable care, skill, and caution to manage and invest the estate to meet the protected person’s needs over his or her expected life.

Utah Conservatorship Attorney

The court might appoint a guardian, conservator or both. The guardian and the conservator might be two different but often times it is the same person. Without a conservator, the guardian will have some of the conservator’s responsibilities. Limited guardianships occur if the protected person needs help in some but not all areas of decision making. Limited guardianship are preferred, and the court will only grant a full guardianship if no alternative exists. Serving as a guardian or conservator for another person requires a large amount of time, patience, and care. Before agreeing to serve, make sure you have the time and dedication to do a worthy job of what you have been entrusted to do. Whether you are a guardian or a conservator, they are both demanding roles and they are both responsible making decisions for another person, and they must always act with the utmost honesty, loyalty and fidelity toward that person. Guardians and Conservators must report annually to the court and they must advise the court when either they or the protected person changes their residence. The guardian and conservator cannot simply do what they want. The guardian and conservator should make the same decision that the protected person would make, unless that decision would cause them harm.

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