How to Convert Guardianship to Conservatorship

by Lisa Bigelow, studioD

Guardians and conservators are court-appointed stewards of those who are deemed unable to make sound decisions for themselves. Guardians manage the personal affairs and protect the rights of an individual, while conservators manage the individual's finances and property. The guardian and conservator may be the same person, and ideally, this person is a family member or trusted friend or adviser. To be appointed, both guardians and conservators must prove to the court that the individual is incapable of self-care; the court will order an investigation to prove the petitioner's allegations. Converting guardianship to conservatorship requires the court to issue a decree in the petitioner's favor.

Hire an attorney. Conservatorship begins with the petitioner asking the court for appointment. You'll need to provide the attorney with the decree that the court granted that approved you as the guardian. You will also need to provide evidence that the individual is not able to adequately care for his finances.

Apply for a bond. Conservators must supply a bond that secures the individual's assets.

Submit to the court investigation. The court will hear testimony from the individual -- if possible -- as well as hear evidence supporting the petition. The court will further investigate the potential conservatorship by reviewing the guardianship's details, medical reports and other relevant evidence.

Wait for approval. If the conservatorship is approved, the court will issue letters that supply the conservator permission to open and close bank accounts. The conservator may address other needs related to the individual's assets as well. The court may also opt to grant a limited conservatorship that permits the conservator limited control over the assets.


  • Conservatorships are terminated when the conservatee dies or when the court overturns the conservatorship.

Items you will need

  • Evidence of guardianship
  • Evidence of incapacitation
  • Attorney

About the Author

Lisa Bigelow is an independent writer with prior professional experience in the finance and fitness industries. She also writes a well-regarded political commentary column published in Fairfield, New Haven and Westchester counties in the New York City metro area.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images