Guardian Vs. Conservator: What's The Difference?

Guardians and conservators are court-appointed solutions to the problem of older people and disabled young people who can't make decisions for themselves.

The two terms are often confused, but the distinctions are simple:

  • The guardian is responsible for the care of the person, making decisions for his or her medical care and health, housing and other personal matters. Guardianship is about how the individual lives.
  • The conservator is responsible for the incapacitated person's financial affairs and property. Conservatorship is basically about money.

Both guardians and conservators are individuals taking on the complex roles of caring. In their capacity they need legal counsel in setting up these roles, and ongoing counsel as they address needs and situations that arise.

Nebraska has its own approach to these two roles, and it is stricter than many states. For this reason, those who seek to be guardians or conservators for someone they know should spend some time discussing their plan and all its implications with family attorneys knowledgeable about the process.

At Reisinger Booth & Associates, PLLO, we assist in setting up guardianships and conservatorships, and in advising guardians and conservators on ongoing issues.

In addition to setting up and consulting, our lawyers are active in litigating disputes involving guardians and conservators. The state is scrutinizing these relationships more carefully than in the past. Individuals serving as guardians and conservators are now required to obtain court approval prior to making ATM withdrawals or receiving cash back on a debit card purchase.

Our firm represents guardians and conservators in disputes that arise, and we also advocate when guardians or conservators are suspected of financial or any other kind of abuse.


Do you have additional questions about guardians or conservators? Call the family law and probate attorneys at Reisinger Booth & Associates, PLLO, in Omaha, Nebraska, at 402-451-4488, or query our lawyers using this email form.