October 8, 2010

Utah Guardianships and Conservatorships Lawyer

Salt Lake Family Law

There are circumstances in life that sometimes require the need to create a guardianship.  Guardianships can be created for minor children or for incapacitated or incompetent adults.  Some examples of when a guardianship may be appropriate are:  Death of parents, parents who are incapable of caring for their minor children, adults who are impaired by physical or mental illnesses, old age, and drug or alcohol use.  Guardianship is based on the person’s ability to make reasonable decisions.  The presence of old age, drug abuse or illness is itself not sufficient.  Guardians act more or less as a parent and have the basic same responsibilities; however they are not liable for the actions of the ward, like a parent.  The guardian acts for another person, the “ward,” whom the law considers as being incapable of managing their own affairs.  A guardian has legal authority to control the ward’s person.  Guardians are responsible to make sure that the ward is cared for, gets appropriate education and training, and care for their personal effects.  They have authority to make decisions relating to any medical and or professional care.  Guardians may also have a dual role and act in the role of a Conservator, or control over the wards property and finances.

At Utah Divorce Hotline our family law attorneys can help you set up a guardianship or conservatorship.  Contact us anytime for details.


After a guardian is appointed, termination of the guardianship occurs upon the death of the guardian, or upon the death, marriage, adoption, or reaching majority of the ward.

Guardians may also petition the court for permission to resign, or the court may remove the guardian.


Similar to guardianship, a conservator is given legal responsibility over a ward’s property and finances.  They act similar to a trustee, and have the power to invest, acquire, retain or dispose of the ward’s assets, business, or property interests.  If a conservator is not specifically appointed then the responsibility generally remains with the assigned guardian.  Examples of when a conservator may be appointed are when the court determines the ward:  is unable to manage their property and affairs due to mental or physical disability, drug or alcohol abuse, or that the ward’s property will be wasted if not managed properly, and that those funds are needed to support the ward or the ward’s dependants.

A conservator may be held responsible to the ward for the misuse of funds or property, and the court can restrict the conservator’s powers as it sees fit.  The court may also remove a conservator for good cause or accept the conservator’s resignation.  As with the guardianship, death terminates the conservatorship.

Contact Utah Divorce Hotline for Your Family Law Matters

As you can see these are complex and complicated matters.  If you are considering setting up a guardianship or conservatorship you need to consult with reliable and knowledgeable legal counsel such as the family law attorneys at the law office of Utah Divorce Hotline.  Give us a call at 801.618.1331 or email us and we can successfully help you answer your hard questions.