Conservatorships Vs. Guardianship, what are the Differences?

Difference Between Conservatorships and Guardianships

Understanding the difference between conservatorship and guardianship is challenging. Which do you need? Which would best serve your family and loved ones? We’ve got an essential guide to conservatorships vs. guardianships.


Conservatorships handle the financial affairs of a living person. The goal is to protect both the individual and their assets when they are unable to manage them alone and can’t make informed decisions that are in their best interests. The conservator that oversees the finances is accountable to the courts to act on the best interest of the individual and their estate.


Like conservatorships, guardianships work to assist an individual when they are not able to manage their personal welfare. However, where a conservatorship focuses on the financial assets, a guardianship handles all other personal matters for the individual, including healthcare decisions, living and wellness issues, personal care, and mental health concerns.

When to Use Which

It’s not always up to a loved one or family member to determine conservatorship vs. guardianship. That’s where the courts come in. A judge is responsible for determining which is best for the individual based on many factors. They’ll determine what they feel will most closely meet the person’s needs while considering the circumstances that created the need for oversight.

One thing is clear when caring for someone who can’t care for themselves – you need a reliable and compassionate attorney on your side. Ensuring the protection of your loved one while navigating the legal system and what’s required can be overwhelming. Contact the experienced lawyers at McCutchen McLean, LLC to learn more about these two options and which is best.



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