Guardianship: A guardianship involves the appointment of a guardian to make personal and healthcare decisions on behalf of an individual (referred to as the ward) who is unable to make these decisions independently. The guardian is responsible for ensuring the ward's well-being, including matters related to medical care, living arrangements, education, and overall welfare.
Conservatorship: A conservatorship, on the other hand, involves the appointment of a conservator to handle the financial and property affairs of an individual who is unable to manage their own finances due to incapacity or other factors. The conservator's role is to protect the person's assets, manage their finances, pay bills, make investments, and handle other financial matters in their best interest.
In both guardianships and conservatorships, the court oversees the process to ensure that the rights and interests of the individual are protected. The court will assess the person's incapacity through medical evaluations and other evidence before making a determination on the need for a guardian or conservator.
It's important to note that guardianships and conservatorships are serious legal measures, and they should only be pursued when it is clearly in the best interest of the individual and when there are no less restrictive alternatives available. The court process for establishing guardianships and conservatorships in Alabama involves filing a petition, providing notice to interested parties, and attending hearings where evidence is presented and decisions are made by the court.