In general, a conservatorship is established over an adult, while guardianships apply to minors. There are generally two kinds of conservatorships: over the person and over the estate. Many times, one conservator will be appointed the conservator over the person and estate of the ward.
To establish a conservatorship over the person, the court must find that the ward (the person for whom the conservatorship is to be established) is substantially unable to provide for their food, clothing and shelter. The petition to create a conservatorship is usually filed by a loved one or family member who recognizes the elder’s inability to provide for these personal needs.
When the court orders the establishment of a conservatorship over the person, it will appoint a conservator and grant that person the authority to make all necessary decisions to properly provide food, clothing and shelter for the ward. Often, these powers will also include the authority to make medical decisions.