The differences between guardianship and conservatorship may seem subtle and in general, they are. However, in order to establish the appropriate care for your loved one is it imperative to know the distinctions between the two. The main goal of a conservatorship is to care for an individual’s financial well-being, whereas guardianship cares for their physical and mental well-being. A conservatorship has little to do with making decisions on behalf of another person’s physical health or living environment but focuses on managing their assets and protecting their monetary health. This often includes the management of a person’s estate, which encompasses a majority or all of their real property and personal possessions.
Individuals with special needs or an elderly person may be unable to articulate their wishes or no longer have the wherewithal to make appropriate decisions. When this occurs a conservator can be appointed by the court to legally care for them and make decisions on their behalf based on their wishes. Both guardianship or conservatorship should be the last consideration after all other less restrictive means have been explored. These options may include voluntary community care, setting up a Power of Attorney or creating an appropriate trust.
Role of a Conservator in Kansas
The role of a conservator is greatly weighted with trust and loyalty. The conservator should be chosen carefully and with confidence that he or she will abide by her legal role to make decisions based on the values, morals and expressed desires of the conservatee. A conservatee is always subject to the monitor and control of the court and must always act on behalf of the conservatee’s best interest. Training is often required prior to being appointed as a conservator in order to adequately prepare an individual to take on the role and responsibilities of becoming a conservator.
The conservatee is not required to use their own finances to pay for attorney’s fees or expenses that arise. These expenses are often able to be taken out of the conservatee’s estate. A conservator is also not responsible for the debts or financial obligations of the conservatee. Upon appointment, a conservator is required to submit an accounting to the court outlining the conservatee’s assets, real property and personal property. Each year thereafter the conservator must submit an accounting overview detailing how monies were spent and assets were allocated. A conservatorship may end upon filing a petition for termination or if and when the conservatee’s capacity is restored.
Contact an Experienced Kansas Conservatorship Attorney Today to Answer Your Questions
It is not always easy to approach difficult issues such as conservatorship, but our law firm is here to offer the guidance and support you and your family needs. Kansas Family Lawyer Tom McDowell has over 40 years of experience helping families handle their matter to facilitate the best interest of their loved ones. Contact McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to see how we can help you and your family’s needs.