Responsibilities of a Guardian
As the Guardian, it is your job to ensure that the Ward maintains as much independence and autonomy as possible. It is easy to fall into the role of protector, but try to keep in mind that your role is similar to that of a parent to a child. A parent wants to assist a child in navigating the world around them, ensuring they handle the tasks they are capable of handling on their own so they can continue to grow and learn.
As the Guardian of a disabled or elderly adult, you want to do the same thing. For example, if the Ward is capable of maintaining their home without the assistance of a housekeeper or in-home care provider, allow them to do that. Try to allow them as much input into your decisions as possible.
Responsibilities of a Conservator
The law allows a Guardian to handle money on behalf of the ward if there is no conservator appointed. In most instances, if the Ward receives more than just Social Security income and has significant assets, such as a home, car or brokerage account, then the court will appoint a Conservator. The Order to Guardian indicates that the guardian shall not manage more than $10,000 on behalf of the ward. This value comes from the statutes related to a Guardian of a minor. There is no provision in the law to indicate how much money a Guardian can manage on behalf of the adult ward so most courts use the same standard as outlined for minors.
Petition for the Appointment of a Guardian or Conservator and Associated Documents
I will prepare a petition for the appointment of Guardian or Conservator and associated documents for $750. Filing and court fees are additional. I will also provide the notary at no additional cost