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Guardianships and Conservatorships in Utah

by Norris Law Group on December 26, 2013

If you have aging, infirm or disabled family members, you may find yourself in the position of deciding whether these family members will need someone to make decisions going forward. This can be a heartbreaking experience, but if it is important to make sure that these family members have a trusted advocate. Practicality may need to override emotion in such cases.

The OPG provides a detailed “Guide to Guardian Services in Utah” for those taking on the role of guardian or conservator for another adult Utah resident. This guide notes that there are two different categories for guardians in Utah:

  • Limited Guardianship. In Utah, a Limited Guardianship must be granted unless a Full Guardianship is required. A person granted limited guardianship may only make certain decisions for the ward (the person for whom decisions are being made), based on the discretion of the Court.
  • Full Guardianship. If the ward is unable to make decisions, then a Full Guardianship may be granted by the court. Someone with full guardianship status is authorized to make all decisions for the ward. Typically, a guardian makes decisions over basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.

If the ward is unable to make financial decisions, a conservator may also be appointed by the Utah State Court. One person may serve as both guardian and conservator, or these roles may be performed by two different people.

Those who would like to serve as a guardian or conservator must pass a series of tests, available online (at no charge). The Utah State Courts offer a list of guidelines for court-appointed guardians and conservators written by the Utah State Bar’s Committee on Law and Aging, which may serve as an important “study guide.” After taking the tests, one must also fill out and submit a Declaration of Completion of Testing to the Court.

The following Guardian/Conservator exams are available online:

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) of Utah is “responsible for public guardianship and conservatorship services for persons with incapacities and without any other person to serve as their guardian or conservator.”

An experienced Utah attorney can be of tremendous help if you need to make decisions regarding guardianship and/or conservatorship in Utah. Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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