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If you have a loved one who needs support due to a disability, age or illness, one good option may be to set up a conservatorship. Conservatorships are created for adults over the age of 18. That person might be reliant on you for support now, but if you can no longer take care of them, then assigning a conservator will help guarantee that they get the continued support that they need.

If you are a parent who has a child with a disability, a conservatorship can be applied for as soon as your child turns 18. You may also be interested in setting up a special-needs trust and taking other steps to help protect their governmental benefits.

How is a conservator different than a guardian?

A conservator isn’t different from a guardian other than the fact that they are assigned to people over the age of 18. You can select a conservator who will take care of your loved one’s health care as well as their financial needs. The conservator will take on the full responsibilities of a parent.

How do you assign a conservator?

One option is to set up a conservatorship in your estate plan. You will need to discuss the conservatorship with the person or people you’re considering for the role. You may choose to have more than one conservator for your child’s future care, but you should always make sure that the people you choose are able and willing to take on such a large responsibility.

Our website has more on conservatorships and what you can do to set one up for your disabled child or a loved one who is in your care. This is one part of your estate plan that you should take care of as soon as possible, since you have such an important role in the other party’s life.