A guardianship or conservatorship is a legal title for when a person is appointed to manage the financial or daily affairs of another person. The individual they care for, called the conservatee, might have physical or mental limitations or be elderly. One might also be appointed to take care of a minor child.
As a guardian or conservator, the person is responsible for the well-being of the conservatee. The guardian or conservator can be held liable if they misappropriate funds or harm the conservatee due to negligence or other factors.
Parents may want to set up a will with a guardian noted who they'd like to take care of their child or children if they pass away. For example, parents might decide that their children's grandmother and grandfather are too old to care for them properly, so they could have a guardian assigned who is younger, like an older sibling, aunt or uncle.
If you are planning to choose a guardian or conservator for a minor child or child with a disability, it's important for you to sit down with them to talk through everything they'd have to do. It's not fair to choose a guardian and not let them know. It's also not a good idea to allow the court to appoint who they'd feel is the best fit, because you are better acquainted with your family and friends.
Our site has more on guardianships and conservatorships, so you can learn about how you can protect your children and loved ones if you happen to pass away.