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Guardianship vs. Conservatorship in Estate Planning

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What’s the Key Difference?

When it comes to estate planning in Texas, guardianship and conservatorship are two important concepts to understand. However, what may not be clear is which you should incorporate in your estate plan. In this blog, we will explore the differences between guardianship and conservatorship in more detail.


Guardianship is a legal arrangement in which someone is appointed by a court to make decisions on behalf of another person. This person is called a ward. The guardianship can be limited to specific areas of decision-making, or it can give the guardian broad powers over the ward's care and welfare.

In Texas, guardianship is governed by the Texas Estates Code. There are two types of guardianship: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate. Guardianship of the person gives the guardian authority over the ward's medical decisions, living arrangements, education, and other personal matters. Guardianship of the estate gives the guardian authority over the ward's finances and property.

A guardianship can be temporary or permanent. A temporary guardianship can be for a specific period of time or until a certain event occurs, such as when the ward turns 18 years old. A permanent guardianship does not have an end date and can last until the death of the ward or guardian.


Conservatorship is similar to guardianship, but it relates specifically to financial matters. A conservator is someone who is appointed by a court to manage the financial affairs of another person. Like guardianships, conservatorships can be limited or broad in scope.

A limited conservatorship may be appropriate when an individual needs help managing a specific type of asset, such as real estate. A broad conservatorship may be necessary when an individual is unable to manage any aspect of their financial life.

Conservatorships are often used in estate planning to ensure that someone will be able to manage the finances of a loved one if they become incapacitated. Many people choose to appoint a family member or close friend as their conservator, but it is also possible to appoint a professional fiduciary.

Get the Help of an Estate Planning Attorney

If you are considering establishing a guardianship or conservatorship, it is important to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney who can help you understand the process and make sure that all of your legal bases are covered.

At Burrows Law Group, we work to meet our clients' needs as we help them plan their estates, protect their families, and prepare for their futures. Learn more about how we can help with estate planning or schedule a consultation by calling (972) 236-7798 or by visiting our website.

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