Guardianship and Conservatorship


Lancaster County Conservatorship Attorneys

As your loved ones age, you may grow concerned that they will not be able to make sound decisions for themselves, and put their physical or financial health at risk. Fortunately, Nebraska law allows for you or another trusted person to be named guardian or conservator to help care for the loved one.

At The Law Office of Glen D. Witte, PC, LLO, we understand the sensitive issues that come up as people age. We offer compassionate advice to those thinking about establishing a legal guardianship or conservatorship. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs, please call (402) 858-2095 or contact our Lincoln law firm online.

What Is the Difference Between Guardianship and Conservatorship?

  • Guardianship: A guardian is someone who is responsible for another person's physical well-being. The person being cared for is called a "ward." The guardian makes sure the ward has an acceptable place to live, has food and clothing, and has access to medical care. The court can appoint a guardian or you may name a guardian in a will or trust.
  • Conservatorship: A conservator is someone who manages a ward's property, finances and business affairs. The duties of a conservator can include paying bills, depositing checks and maintaining real estate and other property. A conservator is always court-appointed, which distinguishes the role from a power of attorney.

Drawbacks of Guardianship and Conservatorship

The difficulty with these establishments is that there are several expenses that must be incurred. The process starts with a fairly involved court proceeding. An unbiased outsider is often appointed by the judge to act as guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem investigates allegations that are in the petition and makes a report to the judge. The sheriff (or constable) gives the alleged incompetent person a personal notice of the pending court proceedings and delivers a list of rights. After a set period of time, the judge holds a hearing and everyone is given an opportunity to present evidence for and against the appointment of a guardian and conservator.

Limits on the Authority of Guardians and Conservators

The guardian or conservator cannot give the ward's property to him/herself and cannot be paid for his/her services unless the judge approves it. In order to sell real estate, the conservator must get approval from a judge, and ensure that notice has been given to interested parties and that a trial has been conducted.

Although the guardian/conservator is not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the ward, the job does require a very good system of record-keeping and meticulous use of the system. The guardian/conservator is expected to perform at a very high level of honesty and reliability. As an experienced law firm, we can help you meet all of your obligations as guardian or conservator.

Contact an Experienced Lincoln Estate Planning Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you have questions about establishing a guardianship or conservatorship to help you care for a loved one, we are available to answer them. To arrange a free consultation, please call (402) 858-2095 or contact our law firm online.

We recognize that these are very personal issues, so we are available to visit you in the comfort of your home or office, if you prefer.