3 Types of Guardians and Their Purpose

According to family law, if an adult is unable to take care of themselves, or if a child’s parents pass away, they need a guardian. A guardian is a person who has the legal authority to make decisions about another person’s life. The court usually assigns a guardian, but a person can also appoint a guardian for their children in some cases. Most guardians have full guardianship, meaning they have total control over a person’s life. However, people can also have limited guardianship or joint guardianship.

Scroll down to read about the types of guardians and their responsibilities.

Personal Guardian

A personal guardian, also known as a custodian guardian, has the legal authority and responsibility to take care of a minor and raise them. In other words, the role of a personal guardian is like an acting parent.

Therefore, if you have young children or are planning to have children, it’s a good idea to assign a close, trusted friend or family member as their personal guardian. Having a personal guardian ensures that your children are in good hands when you aren’t here to care for them.

Financial Guardian

In most cases, the personal guardian is the financial guardian. However, if the personal guardian you decide for your child is financially unstable, you should also add a financial guardian to the will. A financial guardian will handle your inheritance and provide finances to the personal guardian as child support.

However, if you don’t add a financial guardian to your will, the other parent will be the financial guardian. In the case of both the parents’ demise, the personal guardian will take this role legally.


In some states, the terms financial guardian and conservators are interchangeable. Conservators handle the inherited assets of minor children and use them to finance the child’s needs.

However, in other states, a conservator handles the finances of incapacitated adults that can’t make their financial decisions due to their medical conditions. These medical issues include dementia, coma, or mental health illnesses. A conservator is responsible for providing for an incapacitated adult’s health, education, food, and other necessities.

Nominating a guardian in your will is necessary, especially if you want someone to care for your children and manage your finances responsibly. And our Brooklyn Estate lawyer can guide you further!

At Ledwidge and Associates, we have a highly-experienced Queens Estate lawyer who can help you appoint guardians in your will.

Reach out to us to learn more about estate planning NYC.






The following two tabs change content below.
3 Types of Guardians and Their Purpose

Ledwidge & Associates

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. in New York City has years of experience helping clients create estate plans that fit their needs. We have the experience and resources to handle your critical legal matters with the utmost care and attention to detail.
3 Types of Guardians and Their Purpose

Latest posts by Ledwidge & Associates (see all)