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Conservator~Guardianship Definitions

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Conservator~Guardianship Definitions
What Is Conservatorship?

If you suffer from an incurable disease or are involved in a debilitating accident, and are unable to manage your own affairs, state law might require a civil lawsuit be initiated to have a Conservatorship  established.
 
In a Conservatorship, a conservator is appointed by the court and given the authority to handle your financial affairs when you lack the capacity to manage your finances on your own.
 
In a Conservatorship, the appointed person manages the financial affairs of the incompetent person, subject to the continuing jurisdiction of the court over the Conservatorship estate. Jurisdiction of the court in a Conservatorship continues while your incapacity exists but ends at your death.
 
The conservator has to make periodic reports to the court and petition the court for additional authority under certain circumstances.   
 
Typically, a Conservatorship allows the conservator to be paid for services rendered on your behalf and for attorney fees to be paid so that the conservator is able to seek legal advice.
 
In addition, the court will require your conservator to purchase a surety bond to protect the Conservatorship estate. The costs and expenses of a Conservatorship are paid by your estate.
What Is Guardianship?
 
Two common types of guardianship are limited and plenary.

In a limited guardianship the guardian assumes only the delegable rights specifically given by a court order.
 
The subject of the guardianship (called a ward of the court) keeps all other decision-making rights not specifically
outlined by the court.  In a plenary guardianship the rights enumerated in state laws that can be delegated can be applied to the person, the estate, or both.
 
Guardianship of the person may allow the guardian to have responsibility of the following for the ward:
  • Determining and monitoring place of the wards residence
  • Consenting to and monitoring medical treatment
  • Consenting to and monitoring non-medical services
    such as education or counseling
  • Releasing confidential information
  • Making end-of-life decisions
  • Maximizing independence in least restrictive manner
Guardianship of the estate or property may include anything that is the subject of ownership whether tangible or intangible.
 
The court may order the guardian to take control of and be responsible for the following:
  • Acting as representative payee
  • Determining benefits
  • Obtaining appraisals of property
  • Protecting property and assets from loss
  • Receiving income for the estate
  • Making appropriate disbursement