The terms guardianship and conservator ship in the United States differ from state to state and may have different meanings. A guardian in one state may refer only to the care of a minor, whereas in another state it may refer to both minors and adults. This entry contains basic information about guardianship and conservatorship from the perspective of family members trying to provide for a loved one who lacks the capacity to care for his or her own health, seek treatment, or manage day-to-day living needs because of a debilitating physical or mental illness. Because most minors (younger than 18 years of age) are under the care of their parents (or become dependents or wards of the state), this entry focuses on disabled adults ...

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