Gaining guardianship or conservatorship over a loved one should be a path of last resort for several reasons. First, a guardianship/conservatorship proceeding may be uncomfortable when the person petitioning for a guardian or the proposed guardian must say difficult things about a loved one in open court and in the presence of the loved one. A family member may not take kindly to hearing that their daughter, son or other relative believes them incapable of caring for themselves and/or their finances. Second, some family members may disagree that a guardian or conservator is necessary or may object to the proposed guardian or conservator. In such a case, conflict in the family amplifies and the costs of the proceeding rise. Third, when a guardian is appointed for a ward, the ward’s right are taken away – rights that are often basic to our idea of what it means to live free in the United States – rights such as the ability to decide where one lives, travels, receives care, whether one enters a contract, has a driver’s license, or votes.