Q. When is Guardianship/Conservatorship needed?  
  A. Guardianship/Conservatorship may be needed when someone is incompetent to manage his or her own financial affairs and/or personal care, and has no viable alternative method of delegating these duties to another.  
  Q. What is a Guardian?  
  A. A guardian is responsible for making decisions about personal and medical matters for the individual, including choices regarding medical care, food, clothing and residence.  
  Q. How is a Guardianship/Conservatorship established?  
  A. A relative, friend or a public official may petition the court for the appointment of a guardian/conservator of an individual. The petition must contain facts establishing why the individual cannot manage his/her financial affairs and/or make decisions concerning his/her personal care. The petition is set for hearing and the slient must appear in court unless medically unable to do so. A judge then determines whether the guardianship/conservatorship is required and what types of special powers may be granted to the guardian/conservator.  
  Q. What are the advantages of a Guardianship/Conservatorship?  
  A. A guardianship/conservatorship offers a higher degree of protection to the individual than other management mechanisms. The guardian/conservator must file an inventory which lists all the property of the client and must file accountings with the court that reflect all transactions involving that person's assets. Another advantage to a guardianship/conservatorship proceeding is that it provides a structured method to assist an incapacitated individual who may be reluctant to accept such assistance.  
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