From business matters to personal legal issues.
Guardianship & Conservatorship
Sometimes the unexpected happens. An accident or illness leaves someone unable to take care of personal business or make decisions. If this occurs without a Power of Attorney or other plan in place, probate court will step in and appoint a guardian or conservator. The appointed person might not be best suited for your or your family’s particular needs.
At Morton & Gettys in Rock Hill, the estate planning attorneys can help you draw up documents that let you make those decisions in advance. We also can assist families who need help should a loved one become incapacitated due to injury or a health condition such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other disability. We also can advise clients in emergency situations.
Though their roles are somewhat similar, there are important distinctions between a guardian and a conservator. A guardian’s duties often are broad and could involve anything from deciding where a person lives to a course for medical treatment. We are most familiar with the term when it is used in cases of children without parents, though it also can apply when an adult can no longer make decisions due to mental or physical illness, advanced age, or chronic substance abuse.
A conservator, on the other hand, has a more-limited role. In general, those duties involve handling financial affairs such as paying bills and managing assets. In the case of a child who receives a significant amount of money from either an inheritance or legal settlement, a conservator must be appointed.
If both a guardian and a conservator are necessary, they can be the same person though that does not have to be the case.