How much does guardianship or guardianship cost and who pays for it? (2023)

appoint courtsguardian or keeperwhen people - called wards - are mentally handicapped to such an extent that they are no longer able to take care of themselves or their own affairs. This is often due to a concerned friend or family member petitioning the court for the right to act on behalf of the incapacitated person. Perhaps the most prominent example of a high-profile conservatory is that of pop star Britney Spears. Spears, aged 39 in 2021, challenged control of the conservatory, which had existed since 2008.

It may sound like a relatively simple solution to an unfortunate problem, but guardianship and guardianship proceedings can be a costly affair. Even before guardianship or guardianship is officially established, costs may arise. For example, you have to bear the court costs for filing the initial application for determination of legal capacity.

Also, you may be required to secure bail before being appointed a trustee. Expenditures may persist into the life of the legal arrangement. You can includeOld people's home, home careassisted living, rent, groceries, medical care and home maintenance or repair.

Guardians vs. Conservators

A guardianship and a guardianship are actually two separate agreements. A guardian takes care of the ward's personal affairs, such as B. health issues and even nursing, feeding and supervision, depending on the degree of disability of the ward.


A guardian's duties may also include some minor financial transactions, such as B. Fulfilling the daily expenses of the ward.

A conservator is appointed to look after the finances of the parish.The court typically appoints a guardian when it appears that the guardian would otherwise have to administer more than $25,000 annually on behalf of the ward, but the exact threshold may depend on state law.

Some wards may require both an attendant and a guardian, and a court may appoint two different people to fill these roles. In other cases, the same person may serve in both roles.

registration fees

Various costs have to be paid even before a person’s incapacity for work is determined. The court costs of filing the initial application to determine capacity vary by state. If you enlist the help of a lawyer in preparing and filing the application, the services of this professional will also be chargeable.


Not all states charge filing fees for guardianships, although they typically do for conservators. For example, it is free to apply for guardianship in the District of Columbia, but it costs $45 to apply for guardianship there as of 2021.

legal fees

The court will also appoint an attorney who will best represent the interests of the allegedly incompetent person during the guardianship or guardianship proceedings.This lawyer also has to be paid. The ward must have some sort of pre-existing relationship with the attorney in many states.


Attorney fees are set by law in some states, but others allow attorneys to charge at their standard rates, which can amount to hundreds of dollars per hour.

Once appointed, in many cases the guardian or guardian must normally obtain court approval before taking any specific action or making any specific decision on the ward's behalf.This, in turn, leads to legal fees for preparing and filing the appropriate court case. Added to this are the costs and fees of a hearing requested by the judge.

The ward's attorney must usually attend and be paid for the hearing if the judge requests a court hearing for any reason.

Other Professional Fees

The fees for doctors, nurses or social workers usually have to be paid as well. These professionals help determine if the station is actually incapacitated. The court will charge them with thoroughly investigating the department, and each will charge a fee for the services.

Serving the paperwork

The next living relatives of the incapacitated person are usually obliged to inform about the procedure. You must obtain a copy of the application after one has been filed with the court to establish legal capacity.

This can be accomplished by paying a personal process server to personally deliver a copy to each family member, or in some states the family may be able to accept a copy of the petition by registered mail.


Family members might actually agree to participate and become parties to the petition to determine legal capacity.

After the establishment of a guardianship or conservatorship

Lots of ongoingduties and responsibilitiesof a guardian or conservator requires the payment of certain fees and expenses.

A caretaker is usually required to file an annual accounting of how the community's assets were bought, sold, invested, and spent.The restorer must either prepare this report in person or hire and pay for oneAccountantor a lawyer.


Some states require conservators to post bail, a type of insurance policy, to protect the ward's estate in the event of wrongdoing. That also costs money.

Who pays for all this?

The assumption of all these costs can depend on the level of the personal financial situation of the person being cared for. Many costs are paid by theestateif there is enough cash and property to require an attendant—all the cash and the value of what the ward owns.

If the ward is relatively destitute and needs a guardian, federal law intervenes to at least cover some costs. Congress has established a special guardianship fund to pay certain expenses in these circumstances, but attorneys serving the guardian or ward must apply to the court for payment from this fund.

Initial attorneys' fees at the outset of proceedings must often be paid personally by the guardian or guardian, although the court may order the ward's estate to reimburse them.

In cases where the ward has limited or no assets or cash, some court costs, such asExcluded are costs in connection with medical or health care. The courts will always endeavor to pay these from the ward's own funds or through state or federal funds.

Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows a portion of a ward's benefit account to be diverted in certain circumstances to pay for guardianship proceedings and court-ordered fees.


This provision applies to guardianships, not guardianships.

The contributions must not consume the ward's coffers and are only paid if the personal needs of the ward are already covered. The SSA does not contribute if the application for guardianship is unsuccessful.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can supervision be terminated?

The person in the conservatorship can petition the court to terminate it. There is then a hearing where a judge can decide to end it, keep it, or request more evidence. A judge can decide to change a conservator, reduce his authority, or end the conservatorship.

Can guardianship be established without a lawyer?

That will depend on the state. In Florida, for example, you can waive the guardian-designate's attorney, although the state still requires that the ward be represented by an attorney.

Is a health care proxy the same as a guardianship or guardianship?

No, it's not the same. A power of attorney is granted by one person to another to enable that person to sign documents and make decisions on behalf of the first person. The authorizing person does not waive their own signing and decision-making rights. You do not have to go to court to issue or obtain a Power of Attorney, and it can be revoked at any time without the consent of a judge.

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