Distinct from a guardianship, a conservatorship may be established by Probate Court when a person is deemed unable to manage his or her own financial affairs. The appointed conservator becomes legally responsible for the assets – the estate – of the protected person. A conservator differs from a guardian in that the conservator cares only for a protected person’s finances and has no legal authority over other areas of the protected person’s life.

Conservatorships may help to protect vulnerable adults from financial exploitation or can be used to preserve assets otherwise subject to loss due to mismanagement.