When people talk about estate planning, they often speak of a conservator and a guardian. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably and their meanings can be confused. Although their roles are similar, a conservator has different responsibilities than that of a guardian and it’s important to know the difference between the two. Role of a Conservator A conservator is a guardian of the property. The court appoints a conservator who is a fiduciary whose role is to manage the financial affairs of an incapacitated adult or a minor child. A conservatorship allows a person to manage real estate, bank accounts and investments of an incapacitated person. Duties of a conservator can include:
- Paying bills
- Buying and selling real estate
- Managing stocks and bonds
- Managing rental property
The conservator acts on behalf of the incapacitated person or the minor child. The court that appointed the conservator will oversee the conservator and ensure he or she is carrying out the duties for which they are responsible on behalf of the person they are taking care of.
Role of a Guardian
A guardian is appointed by the court as a fiduciary who is responsible for ensuring the well-being of an incapacitated person or minor child. It is their job to ensure the day-to-day needs are being attended to. The person that is receiving care is referred to as a ward. When it comes to a minor child, the legal guardian is usually the primary caregiver, living with the child and fulfilling a parental role for the child. In the case of an incapacitated adult in Troy, Illinois, the guardian does not necessarily live with the adult, but they are responsible for ensuring medical needs are being met and that the ward is receiving adequate care and personal needs are met by caregivers. When estate planning, the possibility that you’ll one day be incapacitated needs to be considered. You never know what the future holds, but if you are well prepared for the unexpected, then you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ll receive the proper care and will have a reliable person that you trust to manage your affairs should you no longer be able to do so. If you want to take control of your future, then it’s time to contact the family law experts at Levo-Donohoo. We can help you draft the legal documents to ensure your future needs will be met.