In the State of Illinois, a conservator and a guardian are very similar roles. There are, however, important differences that you should consider when deciding what is the best role for your specific case. Seeking a conservatorship and a guardianship can both be useful under the following circumstances:

  • In the event of a sudden illness
  • In the event of an injury
  • Due to a disability

For each of these circumstances, the debilitating and restricting matter would place a person with the inability to make his or her own decisions about his or her personal affairs. This could include his or her inability to make decisions concerning his or her health and/or financial matters. The individual who is in need of the conservatorship or guardianship is then regarded as incapacitated since he or she will be unable to make his or her own personal decisions. It should be noted that both a guardianship and a conservatorship will need to be appointed by a court and thus needs to follow a court process. Through a court hearing, it will be determined if the individual in question is in fact incapacitated.

This article will provide a general overview of the responsibilities of a conservator and the responsibilities of a guardian. For more information, seek the advice of a qualified attorney.

The Responsibilities of a Conservator

Generally, conservatorships are granted for those who need someone to look after his or her finances. A conservatorship will only be granted if the individual cannot personally look after his or her own finances due to a debilitating cause. The person granted the conservatorship is generally regarded as a guardian of the estate. As a conservator, the following are some of the most key responsibilities:

  • To keep detailed accountings and records of all movements and arrangements made with the individual’s assets.
  • Present an annual report of all transactions to a court in order to ensure that there were proper and responsible decisions made in regard to the individual’s assets.

It is important to note that a conservator will have no control over the individual’s health care decisions or other personal affairs. A conservator will only have control over the individual’s personal finances and/or assets.

The Responsibilities of a Guardian

A guardian has more jurisdictions over a person than a conservator. Generally, a guardian is also referred to as a guardian of the person. When a guardian is appointed, this person will be legally entitled to make personal decisions about a person. This will usually deal with health care decisions and/or other non-financial issues. Typically, guardians will be court-ordered when a person is unable to make decisions for his or herself, which could because the person is underage. If the individual is an adult, it will typically be because he or she has a disability that prevents him or her from making decisions. As a guardian, the following are some of the most common responsibilities:

  • To make decisions regarding the person’s education.
  • To make decisions regarding the person’s housing.
  • To make decisions regarding the person’s health care.
  • To make decisions regarding the person’s social activities.

A guardian can have a limited authority about the person’s financial decisions, but the overall financial decisions are not up to the guardian to make.

Seek Legal Support

It is very important to understand that both roles carry great responsibility with regard to another’s decisions. If you are unsure as to what role is best for your specific case, consult an attorney with the right experience who can guide you. Chicago guardianship lawyer can be a fundamental tool in obtaining the assistance and support of an estate lawyer that is right for you.