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Differences between conservatorships and guardianships

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2022 | Family Law

Some Texas families might need help for their loved ones. When a person can no longer manage self-care or manage their financial matters, a conservatorship or guardianship may be necessary.

What is a guardianship?

A guardianship is a legal proceeding that grants a person legal authority over a minor child or an older adult. The person given the role of guardian could oversee a person’s finances or personal affairs. If the guardian is for a minor child, they make sure that all of the child’s personal care is met and controls their finances as outlined in the parent’s will.

If the guardianship involves an elderly person, the guardian’s duties are to ensure that the individual has a place to live whether it’s their own home, assisted living or nursing facility. They also manage financial matters and medical care.

What is a conservatorship?

With a conservatorship, a person is granted legal authority by the court over the personal and financial affairs of an adult. The conservator is required to perform regular accountings of the person’s assets that are not held within a trust and report them to the court. This should be done after the first year and then repeated every two years after.

A conservatorship is often requested because the filer believes that the conservatee is unable to manage their own financial affairs. People who are mentally ill, mentally disabled, have crippling addiction problems or elderly are more likely to be the target of a conservatorship due to their vulnerability.

How do guardianships and conservatorships differ?

These two legal options are similar but different. A guardianship focuses on the ward’s personal and financial affairs. Meanwhile, a conservatorship only involves the person’s financial affairs being handled by the conservator.

If you have a loved one who needs a conservatorship or guardianship, it’s important to do your homework and determine which is the appropriate option.