Unless you are employed in the legal field or have been involved in a legal action, much of the terminology is confusing. This is especially so in the family law field, which introduces residents to many previously unheard of legal terms. Two of these terms – guardianships and conservatorships – can arise within the family law area of practice in the state of California.
To help you determine how one or both of these legal terms may apply in your family law situation, the following sections contain basic information about guardianships and conservatorships. Learning about these terms helps you identify what kind of service you need from an attorney and it helps you prepare for any consultations between you and your lawyer.
Guardianships typically involve minor children or disabled people who need someone to manage their financial affairs and provide them with care and upbringing. The need for such a role could arise when the child has no surviving family members to fill the role of protector and advocate. Unfortunately, it could also arise in the presence of challenging family circumstances like substance abuse or domestic violence.
This term usually applies to adults who can no longer care for themselves due to old age, illness or mental deficiencies. It may also apply to disabled individuals regardless of their age. The appointment of a conservator ensures that the person in need has someone to manage his or her finances, health care and lifestyle.
Obviously, this information is just the starting point for those interested in helping an adult or a child in need. A great way to follow up and begin arranging guardianships and conservatorships should the need for either ever arise is to speak with a family law attorney.