Guardianships and conservatorships are important legal designations. They can be assigned to protect disabled children or minor children. The individuals who are placed in a guardian’s or conservator’s care are called wards.

There are a few kinds of guardianships and conservatorships. There are:

  • Limited guardianships
    • A conservator or guardian only has limited power, such as helping with a ward’s finances
  • Standby guardianships
    • A guardian or conservator takes on the role only when necessary, such as in the event that a parent of a child passes away.
  • Public guardianships
    • These are guardianships where the court appoints a county government agency or state agency to care for the ward
  • Private guardianships
    • A guardianship with the court appoints a private citizen, like a family member, to care for the ward.

You should know that parents are always the preferred guardians unless they are unable to care for their children. After that, children who are 14 years of age or older may have a say in who takes on the role of their guardian so long as that person is suitable and qualified to become one.

What should you do if a ward is seeking you as a guardian?

If your loved one has passed away, and their child has sought you as a guardian (or if you were assigned in the estate plan), you do have the option of turning it down or accepting the role. You will need to go to court, which is something your attorney can talk to you more about before that day comes. This is an important designation, so think about it carefully before agreeing.