When you're creating an estate plan, one thing you need to learn about is guardianship and conservatorships. Guardianship is also known as conservatorship in some states, and it refers to the court appointing someone to take care of the legal rights of a mentally incapacitated person. This person becomes known as the "ward" of the conservator or guardian.
For someone creating an estate plan, you might want to assign a guardian or conservator if you have a child who has a mental disability and will need support if you pass away. You can appoint anyone in your will, but the court will still review the needs of your child and determine if the individual is capable of providing for their needs.
Are there different kinds of conservatorships?
There are two kinds of conservatorships. The first is a conservatorship of the estate. This conservatorship appoints a conservator who can take care of the ward's finances and help them avoid fraud or undue influences. The conservator obtains the right to pay debts, receive assets and apply income for the good of the individual once appointed by the court.
The other kind of conservatorship is a conservatorship of the person. This, as you may guess, is the conservator who serves a guardian, taking care of the ward's physical and mental needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and health care.
If you have a child who needs a conservator, you can appoint one in your will and estate plan. That way, you'll know that your child is cared for by someone you trust.