Guardians and conservators are appointed to the incapacitated, the elderly, the disabled or minors to care for the affairs and needs of these wars. But what are the specific duties of a guardian and a conservator? And how do they differ?
First of all, depending on the state, a guardian may not be a conservator. Guardians are primarily put in charge of taking care of the affairs of the person while the conservator is placed specifically in charge of caring for the financial needs of the person. However, since this depends on the state, and this is not a hard and and fast definition: in Massachusetts, a guardian is fully prohibited from managing their ward’s finances but in others, guardians may be allowed to do this if the ward’s financial holdings are small enough. In Washington, D.C., conservators are only needed when the ward’s holdings would require that conservator or guardian to manage over $24,000 per year. Some states, like Iowa, call guardians “conservators of the person” and conservators “guardians of the estate”, to blur things even more.
Getting definitions (that depend entirely on the state) out of the way, the guardian’s main duty is personal and medical care of their ward. They are in charge of making sure that they are acting in the ward’s best interests as their fiduciary in getting them medical care and taking care of them as a person. Authority to make medical decisions for the ward, however, are limited by some states. They decide the ward’s living arrangements, education, social activities, as well, in some stances, the ward’s finances.
Conservators, on the other hand, will handle the person’s real and tangible property while investing their liquid assets. Seeing as this is a fiduciary relationship, they have the duty to act in the best interests of their conservatee, whether that’s through investing in mutual funds or selling tangible property to finance a handicap accessible van if needed. The conservator also is placed in charge of paying the conservatee’s taxes and bills, including bills generated from personal or medical care. Conservators and Guardians usually have to prepare an annual accounting of all of the activities they have performed on the ward’s behalf for the previous year and file it with the court, to evaluate their performance and dealings as a fiduciary. A doctor’s report and detail of medical care may also be required to make sure that the guardian’s ward is getting an adequate quality and amount of care.
Ultimately, some duties of both conservators and guardians will require court approval, depending on where the person they are in charge of resides. Guardians need court orders to admit a ward to a nursing home in Massachusetts while Florida requires approval for selling any of the conservatee’s property.
The court may also require a guardian or conservator to purchase a surety bond to protect the interests and affairs of the ward or conservatee in accordance with the applicable state law.
So where can you easily purchase a Guardianship or Conservator Surety Bond?
Colonial offers the direct and digital way to obtain conservator surety bonds or guardianship surety bonds. We are the insurance company — which means no agent, no broker, and no middleman. We make it easy to obtain your court bond instantly. The steps are easy — get a quote online, fill out your information, satisfy underwriting requirements, and enter your payment method. Print or e-file your bond from your office. It’s that simple!