A big part of estate planning in Florida is choosing a guardian or conservator for your estate. This person is appointed by the court if you are physically or mentally incapacitated or if you have minor children that require a guardian if something happens to you. Guardians and conservators often have overlapping duties and you may choose to appoint the same person to both jobs but some of their roles are separate.

The Balance states that a conservator often oversees your finances while a guardian will make choices for your personal care if you are unable to care for yourself. In some states, it is prohibited for a guardian to be involved in a ward’s finances.

If you need medical or personal tasks handled, a guardian is responsible for making those choices and decisions. They can decide where you will live and make medical decisions after consulting with your care providers and physicians.

When it comes to liquid assets, the conservator is responsible for investing. If you die or are incapacitated, the conservator decides who is responsible for overseeing any of your investments and deciding where the money goes. This can be done with the help of a financial advisor. In comparison, a simple bank account would usually be handled by a guardian.

A conservator is also responsible for filing income tax returns and paying the bills. If your financial obligations and income are minimal, the guardian may be given this task. In most states, it is not required for a court to appoint a guardian or conservator if there is one specified in the estate plan. Whether you are young and healthy or nearing the end of your life, an estate planning attorney can give you peace of mind about your financial assets and your children.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.