Guardianship: Adult, Minor & Temporary

  1. Adult Guardianship & Conservatorships
  2. Minor Conservatorships
  3. Minor Guardianships

Probate courts have jurisdiction over the appointment and supervision of guardians and conservators of adult persons found to be incapacitated by reason of physical or mental illness to such an extent that the adult is no longer capable of making reasonable and rational decisions concerning his or her person or of managing his or her money and property. Guardians made decisions concerning the person of the Ward, and Conservators manage and make decisions concerning the income and property of the Ward.

Conservators must be bonded for the value of all income and personal property of the Ward, and Guardians may be required to post bond. Guardians of an incapacitated adult must file annual reports on the physical/mental status of the ward. Conservators must file an inventory of assets, an asset management plan, and annual financial accountings, all of which are subject to review or audit by the staff of the probate court. The appointment, supervision, removal and discharge of guardians, conservators, and their sureties are within the exclusive, original jurisdiction of the probate courts.

Cost & Investigations

There are court costs and fees which must be paid in connection with any guardianship and/or conservatorship case. Attorneys’ fees will also be involved in many cases. Particularly for adults, consideration should first be given to Alternatives to Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship.

Most probate courts will require that all conservators and some guardians, particularly guardians of minors, undergo a criminal background check before appointment. Services caseworkers, social work professionals, and skilled and personal care facility administrators and staff.

Training & Educational Materials

Most probate courts will require all guardians and conservators of adults and all conservators of minors to view a training video and to read a handbook prepared and published for the courts by the Council of Probate Court Judges and the Administrative Office of the Courts. Even if not required, the videos and handbooks are excellent training and educational tools for guardians and conservators.