Helping Gulf Coast Families Navigate Guardianship And Conservatorship
When creating an estate plan, trying to plan for every possible eventuality is a tall order. In many instances, you may want to consider creating a plan for guardianship or conservatorship to protect yourself or a dependent.
Our attorneys at Byrd & Wiser Attorneys at Law can help you determine what guardianship or conservatorship can mean for you and help you develop and implement an agreement into your estate plan. Contact us to schedule an introductory consultation.
Guardianship And Conservatorship: What’s The Difference?
In many states, guardianship and conservatorship are different names for the same role. In Mississippi, there are slight differences between the two.
Guardianship can be appointed by a court, or the terms for guardianship can be outlined in an estate plan. In the event that a decedent leaves behind a dependent who cannot make important life decisions on their own, a guardian may be appointed to manage that person’s medical care, education and overall well-being. Guardians are commonly appointed to manage minor children or adults with severe mental or physical disabilities, but an estate plan can also appoint a guardian in case the testator themselves becomes incapacitated.
If a will does not specify guardianship for the testator, and the testator does become unable to make important life decisions, the Mississippi chancery court may appoint a guardian to manage the incapacitated person’s affairs. The court may limit or expand the guardian’s decision-making powers to include only the necessary decisions the incapacitated individual cannot make.
In Mississippi, a guardian cannot make financial decisions or handle any real property on behalf of their ward.
While a guardian can make decisions regarding all matters except those regarding finances or real property, a conservator is only able to make decisions regarding an individual’s finances. Conservators must continually report to the chancery court to ensure that the incapacitated individual’s finances are not being abused. This requires careful record-keeping on the conservator’s part. A conservator’s decision-making power is limited to financial and property decisions outlined explicitly in the court order.
The court may appoint a single individual to be both the guardian and conservator. The court can terminate guardianship or conservatorship upon death or when it is determined that the guardian or conservator’s removal would benefit the ward.
Discuss Your Guardianship And Conservatorship Concerns With Us.
Having a guardian or conservator appointed for a loved one is a difficult choice. Discuss your options with Byrd & Wiser Attorneys at Law, and learn more about how this decision could impact you and your loved ones. Call us at 228-300-4363 or contact us online.