Frequently Asked Questions

What is a guardian?

A guardian is a person appointed by the court (or through a will) to make decisions for an incapacitated person or a minor child.

What is a conservator?

A conservator is a person appointed by the court to manage the estate, property, and/or business affairs of an individual whom the court has determined is unable to do so for himself or herself.

What is an incapacitated person?

An incapacitated person is any person who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, advanced age, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or other cause to the extent that he or she lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning himself or herself.

What is a protected person?

A protected person, or ward, is a person for whom a Conservator has been appointed or other protective order has been made.

What is a fiduciary?

A fiduciary is an individual who will make decisions in the best interests of a protected person.

What happens if a guardian or a conservator fails to file a required report on time?

The guardian or conservator will receive an Order to Show Cause, requiring him or her to appear in court to explain why the report was not filed.

Can a guardian or conservator pay themselves money from the ward's account?

A guardian or conservator can only pay themselves from the ward's account if the reason for the payment and the amount being paid has been approved by the courts.

Can conservators pay for ward expenses out of a joint account?

No. Conservators should never co-mingle the money of the ward with personal funds.