We recommend that the individuals appointed as guardians have legal representation to ensure that they act according to the prescribed fiduciary laws of the State of New York. Most often, the courts will request that the guardians account for the acts and proceedings. It is best to have an attorney to prepare/review said accounting to avoid strict surcharges and personal responsibility by the courts. Legal guardians must be diligent and cannot hide behind a defense of passive indifference or lack of knowledge. When someone needs to be taken care of, the courts are concerned with two main types of care. In order to ensure these the ward’s needs are met, the courts can assign someone to be a guardian, and someone to be a conservator. The difference between the two is as follows: Guardian – A guardian is the person who the court appoints to legally make decisions about the day to day life including personal affairs, medical care decisions, housing situation, and other necessitates. Conservator – A conservator is appointed by the court to make decisions about financial matters and to preserve and grow the assets of the ward. The same person can be both a guardian and a conservator for someone in need. In addition, a person who needs care may only need either a guardian or a conservator, but not both. When someone is appointed as a guardian, or a conservator, they will have several important obligations that they must meet. This obviously starts with providing for the care that the individual needs, but it goes beyond that. As a guardian, you must always act with the best interests of your ward . You can’t ‘self-serve’ or make a decision that is best for you personally. If you do, there can be serious legal ramifications.