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The difference between guardianship and conservatorship

Florida residents who are dealing with matters of legal guardianship or conservatorship may wish to know the differences between the two categories. Though they cover similar purposes, they do apply to different situations.

The Legal Dictionary refers to conservatorship as the status of a conservator. A conservator is a person who is given legal rights by a judge to manage someone's personal financial affairs due to either their age, or any physical or mental disabilities they might have. In some cases, they may only be responsible for financial decisions alone. In others, it goes much deeper as the conservator is meant to help the person in question live a normal life by managing their daily schedule.

Guardianship, in accordance with Dictionary.com, is someone with the responsibilities of a guardian toward another person. This applies to anyone who is physically or mentally incapable of managing their own affairs properly, or minors. In this situation, the guardian must handle either the property of the person in question, their personal affairs, or both.

In some cases, conservatorship is considered strictly adherent to the finacial aspects of a person's life. However, someone can be both a guardian and a conservator of the same person. In all of these cases, a judge makes the final call. Other people can petition to appoint someone as either a guardian or conservator, including the person in question, interested parties such as the Department of Health and Human Resources, or anyone who is responsible for the care of the target.

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