If a person is unable to make decisions about his or her own health care or finances, he or she may need a guardian and/ or conservator to make these decisions for him or her. The person who needs help is referred to as a “protected person.” Reasons why a protected person may need help include: dementia, mental illness, drug abuse, or because he or she is a minor. A guardian is a court-appointed person responsible for making health care decisions for a protected person. A conservator is a court-appointed person responsible for making financial decisions for a protected person. The same person may be both the guardian and conservator of a protected person. Anyone can petition the court to appoint a guardian and/ or conservator for a protected person.