What is the Difference Between Conservatorship and Guardianship?

If you have followed Britney Spears’ story in recent months, you likely heard about her ongoing battle with her conservatorship. With all the attention her case is receiving, some may be wondering what it means to have a conservatorship and how it differs from a guardianship. Continue reading to find out.

How a Conservatorship and Guardianship Differ

Although people sometimes use the terms interchangeably, a conservator and a guardian are two different roles. Typically, a guardianship is designated to care for an individual’s personal needs and health care decisions while a conservator is designed to care for an individual’s financial matters. However, in both cases, appointing someone in either role means that the person in question is somehow incapacitated and cannot make these decisions without help.

Below is a list of conservatorship duties:

  • Managing the financial matters of their ward, which could extend to more substantial assets and holdings.
  • Power of attorney, fiduciary duty, and yearly accounting.

Below is a list of guardianship duties:

  • Managing the daily living needs and personal care of their ward. In some cases, this could extend to obtaining medical care, education, and other small financial duties.
  • Fiduciary duty, which is restricted to a threshold of less than $24,000 a year.

Depending on the circumstances of the ward, a conservatorship or a guardianship may be more appropriate. Generally, guardianships are designed for those who are incapable of caring for themselves or their basic needs, or they have special needs that are not being provided for. On the other hand, conservatorships are designed for adults deemed legally incompetent to make financial decisions or for minors who have inherited a substantial sum of money and need assistance in managing it.

Schedule a Case Review with an Experienced Attorney to Learn More!

At Arnel Law Firm, our skilled family law team has more than 35 years of experience helping clients navigate the most difficult cases, including those that involve guardianships and conservatorships. You can rely on us to provide the personalized representation and knowledgeable advice you need to obtain the best possible results.

Reach out to our law office today at (718) 550-3024 to request a consultation with one of our attorneys to get started on your case and learn more about your options and which may be more appropriate for you.