A guardian is needed when an adult is incapacitated or has developmental disabilities and needs help making his or her own daily living decisions and medical decisions. The court could appoint both a guardian and a conservator if it deems it necessary for the person to have help physically and medically. The guardian will be responsible for making choices regarding medical care, daily living decisions, and other life decisions for the person. A guardians responsibilities are often compared to those of a parent to a child.
A conservator is someone appointed by the court to be in charge of someone’s finances when he or she cannot make those decisions because of illness, injury, minority, or disability. Some examples of someone in need of a conservator are: someone with dementia, someone who is in a coma, a minor child, or a developmentally disabled adult.
If a court finds that a person cannot make any or all of his or her important life decisions, that person is considered incapacitated. That person is granted a conservator to take care of his or her financial needs. This is different than a guardian. A conservator deals strictly with the financial side of things. Someone may be able to function without help medically, but not be capable of making sound financial choices for themselves.
A guardianship may be considered permanent if the adult is to be legally responsible for the child for more than six months. To get a permanent guardianship, a petition must be filed with the court. A hearing is then held and the court must find that the guardianship is in the child’s best interests.
As you can see, there are different types of guardianship and conservatorships depending on the situation. Everyone has a unique situation and they shouldn’t be treated the same. The attorneys at Friedly & Ward will assist you in evaluating your situation and obtain the appropriate guardianship or conservatorship while also maintaining the dignity of your loved one who requires assistance. Call us at 208-587-4412 schedule an appointment.
If a child’s parent signs a childcare power of attorney naming another adult as his or her child’s temporary guardian for less than six months, the appointed adult can make many decisions for the minor child without a court order, such as decisions regarding education and health care.