What to Know about Guardianship and Conservatorship

When you are working on your Estate Plan you might be faced with the decision of Guardianship and Conservatorship. To help you understand these aspects of your estate plan we at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Utah County have come up with some helpful facts that you should know about Guardianship and Conservatorship.


A guardian is a person appointed by the court to make healthcare and other mostly non-monetary decisions for someone who cannot make these types of decisions because of an injury, illness, or disability.


 A conservator is a person appointed by the court to take care of someone's finances when he or she cannot make these types of decisions because of an illness, injury, or disability.


You will need to have a Guardian or Conservatorship in the following cases:

·       Someone who is in a coma.

·       Someone who is mentally challenged.

·       Someone who has Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.

·       Someone who has had a stroke.

·       Someone who has suffered a brain injury.

·       If a court finds that a person cannot make any or all of his or her important life decisions, that person is incapacitated.


If the court decides to appoint a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated person, the incapacitated person is called the ward. The court appoint both a guardian and a conservator if the court finds it appropriate. It is largely dependent on the situation you may find yourself in.


Who does the court appoint as a guardian or conservator?


·       The court's first choice is a close family member, usually a spouse or domestic partner, parent, or adult child.

·       If no close family member is available or suitable, the court will consider other relatives or friends.

·       If no family member or friend is available, the court will usually appoint a neutral, specially trained attorney who handles these matters on a regular basis.


Having a Guardianship or Conservatorship in place within your will is the easiest way to go, not only for you, but for your family as well. Meeting with the attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Utah County can help you in making this decision and explain which is most appropriate for your situation. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

View Our Testimonials Announcement

Norman H. Jackson, Utah Court of Appeals Judge, Retired, has joined the law firm of Robinson, Seiler & Anderson, LC, effective April 2017.  Judge Jackson was one of the seven founding Judges of the Utah Court of Appeals and served terms as Presiding and Associate Presiding Judge.
Judge Jackson was the senior attorney in a Richfield law firm for eighteen years.  The firm engaged in legal, business and tax cases, including practice before State and Federal Courts, U.S. Board of Land Appeals, Utah Public Service Commission and Arizona Corporation Commission.  Clients included counties, cities, banks department stores, communications and credit associations, irrigation companies, auto dealers, building supply stores, farmers, ranchers and small businesses. They took “every type of case that came through the door,” from criminal defense work to a patent royalty dispute for the inventor of the Frisbee. Judge Jackson has been a lifetime rancher doing business in Utah as Jackson Cattle Company and Arizona as EJ Cattle Ranches.
Judge Jackson’s professional service includes terms on the Utah State Bar Commission, Bar Foundation (President and Vice President), Air Travel Commission, and Utah Information Technology Commission.  He served on the Judiciary’s Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee for thirteen years and initiated and supervised the Appellate Court Mediation Office.  He developed and advanced a realistic and workable framework for both of Utah’s Appellate Courts to use in reviewing trial court and administrative agency decisions.  He published three editions of Utah Standards of Appellate Review while participating in more than 2,000 appellate court decisions.  
Judge Jackson’s experience will complement the other outstanding lawyers at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson, LC.  The firm will continue its representation of injured individuals, as well as clients in real estate, business, estate planning, tax, contract and education matters.

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