Anybody can end up needing a conservator. Young children who are left without parents due to illness or accidents may need them. So, too, may younger adults who suffer from severe developmental disorders or other conditions. Seniors may need them due to advancing dementia or their general physical decline.
What do conservators actually do?
In Connecticut, you can have conservatorship of a person and conservatorship of an estate.
Conservatorship of a person is what most people think of when they hear the term “guardian.” These court-appointed representative have the responsibility of making sure that their wards have food, shelter, clothing and other essentials. They choose where their wards live, who they can see and what medical care they receive.
Conservatorship of an estate is where the court appoints someone to care for a ward’s financial concerns. Those assets might come from private sources (such as the waxrd’s accumulated wealth) or public sources (like Social Security Disability benefits).
Sometimes, a person needs both types of conservators, while others only need one. For example, a young adult with some developmental disabilities may need someone to handle their financial affairs but still be perfectly capable of making other decisions for themselves. Sometimes, the same person will serve as both types of conservator for their ward — although that’s not always ideal and largely depends on the situation.
Who can be a conservator?
It’s generally better if the conservator is someone who personally cares about their ward and their ward’s well-being. It’s not unusual for family members to step up and take on the responsibilities associated with being someone’s conservator.
If you think that it’s time to discuss conservatorship over your loved one, an attorney can help you better understand your legal options and what steps to take next.