Guardian vs. conservator

  • Updated: August 26, 2009 - 9:29 AM

 

What is the difference between a guardian and a conservator? As defined by the courts, a guardian is someone appointed to make decisions about health care, living arrangements and other personal issues for a protected person (ward). A conservator is appointed to make financial decisions such as entering into contracts, paying bills and investing assets for a protected person.

What power do they have over an individual's life? Their powers are broad but not absolute. According to the Minnesota attorney general's office, they may use their authority only as necessary to provide care and services for the protected person. The court should ensure that decisions made will not be overly restrictive of the protected person's rights.

MORE ONLINE

• The Legislature recently passed a Bill of Rights for Wards and Protected Persons (statute 524.5-120). Read it at www.tinyurl.com/lrxw3x. Scroll down to Section 5.

• More information about guardians and conservators can be found at www.tinyurl.com/mrzfp8 and www.tinyurl.com/m4pzqk.

JANE FRIEDMANN

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