One of the most important things to understand about guardianships and conservatorships in Virginia is that they are not the same thing. In fact, they are separate roles that a person may serve when overseeing the care of an incapacitated adult.
A guardian is responsible for making decisions regarding the incapacitated adult’s personal needs including health, safety, residence and education.
A conservator is appointed to make decisions regarding the care of the individual’s financial affairs including money and property.
Although guardianships and conservatorships in Virginia are two distinct roles, it is possible to appoint the same person to serve as both guardian of the person and conservator of the property. Co-guardianship or co-conservatorship is also an option if more than one person would like to care for the incapacitated person. However, this particular option should be carefully considered.
It may be tempting to name, for example, all of the siblings of the incapacitated adult as co-guardians or co-conservators, but it is important to remember that this is more than just a title. There is a lot of hard work that goes along with acting as guardian and conservator, and some family members may not be suited to handle this responsibility.
If you would like help determining if you should pursue a guardianship or conservatorship or both, call the Law Office of Sheri R. Abrams at (571) 328-5795 and schedule an appointment.