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What are the responsibilities of a guardian?

In several past blog posts we have discussed the reasons a family may want seek guardianship for a loved one. When a person becomes incapacitated or lives with a disability that makes them unable to make decisions on their own, guardianship can help ensure they are protected. But what, exactly, is the role of a guardian?

Guardians plan an extremely important role in protecting the so-called ward, and, therefore, have several responsibilities that must be followed. However, in the best interests of the ward, a guardian's powers are limited to doing only what the ward cannot do alone. Guardians are not intended to take over the ward's life, but rather ensure that important decisions are made when necessary in a way that supports the ward's best interests.

Because no two situations are the same, the powers of a guardian vary depending on the needs of the ward. Some responsibilities a guardian may have include:

  • Making health care decisions.
  • Making financial decisions.
  • Ensuring the ward has adequate personal care.
  • Updating the court on the ward's condition, including his or her health, finances and services received.

As you may have already determined, choosing the right person to be a guardian is very important. The guardian should be interested only in protecting the best interests of the ward -- and the court's job is to approve only those who demonstrate this.

If you are considering seeking a guardian for your loved one, an experienced guardianship attorney can help you make the right decisions for your loved one. With the right attorney on your side, you can rest assured that your loved one will receive the protection and assistance he or she needs.

Source: FindLaw, "Guardianship of Incapacitated or Disabled Persons," Accessed July 9, 2015

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