Minor and Adult Guardianships/Conservatorships



All adult guardians/conservators are required to view the Guardian/Conservator Video. 

Click here to view the Adult Guardian/Conservator Video.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need a guardian in place if I have a power of attorney?
It depends on what type of power of attorney that you have. If it is a durable power of attorney for health purposes along with a durable power of attorney for financial purposes, there may be no need for the court to intervene. If the power of attorney is a general power of attorney, you will probably need to petition the court for authority.

In what county do I need to file the guardianship petition?
Usually the petition will be filed in the ward's county of residence, but it will depend on the length of stay where he/she is domiciled presently, i.e., a nursing home resident will usually be filed in the county where the nursing home is located.

What authority will the guardian have, once appointed?
The guardianship consists of two distinct responsibilities - guardian of person and guardian of property. There could be one person appointed for both or it could be divided. It is possible to have a guardian of the property and not of the person. The guardian of the person makes decisions regarding health and living arrangements, etc. The guardian of the property makes decisions regarding finances.

Why is the cost so high for an adult guardianship?
Because of the taking away of certain rights of adult individuals, the law requires safeguards. An attorney will be appointed to represent the desires of the proposed ward, an attorney will be appointed to represent the best interests of the ward, and a doctor will be appointed to examine the proposed ward with a written report to the court. No guardianship will be put in place unless the court finds that there is not an alternative, or that it is absolutely necessary.


All minor guardians/conservators are required to view the Guardian/Conservator Video. 

Click here to view the Minor Guardian/Conservator Video.

Can I get a guardianship for my nephew/niece/grandchild in order for him/her to go to a better school?
No. The status of guardian is more than a mere permission order, but is a transfer of parental authority and responsibility to the person appointed. It is a grave thing and the court must find a need for another person to care for the child, not just a desire for changing schools.

Is a guardianship for a minor permanent?
No, it will terminate when the child reaches the age of majority (currently 18 years of age). The temporary guardianship shall terminate upon either parent demanding it in the Probate Court.

Why do I need conservatorship of my own child?
The law requires that all estates of children and incompetent adults be overseen by the Probate Court in order to protect the value of the estate. Because the child does not have the capacity to make financial decisions (according to the law), there must be a guardian answerable to the court when the child receives assets.