Guardianship Basics, Part 2

See the article entitled Guardianship Basics, Part 1 for an overview of how a guardianship is created.

Q. What responsibilities does a guardian have?

A. A guardian has extensive responsibilities to the ward and must adhere strictly to the estates code, the court establishing the guardianship, (note the court that established the guardianship maintains jurisdiction over the matter until the guardianship ends), and to the fiduciary relationship that has been established. A fiduciary relationship means that a guardian’s actions must be in the best interest of the ward at all times. The exact responsibilities will vary depending on whether the guardianship is over the person, over the estate, or both. Guardians over the person must show that their actions with regard to care are in the best interest of the ward. For guardians over the estate, all assets belonging to the ward must be accounted for at the onset of the guardianship and any changes thereto, whether incoming or outgoing, must be reported at least annually. In addition, should the guardian need to make a change to the estate status (for example, sell an asset), the guardian must petition the court for permission and show it is in the ward’s best interest to so act.

Q. How long does a guardianship last?

A. A guardianship lasts until the court ends it. The court might end a guardianship by the guardian’s initiation because the ward has re-gained capacity. A guardianship might end because the ward has died. A guardianship might end because the guardian failed to follow appropriate court procedures.

This article is written by an attorney at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today for a free consultation, please click here to contact us.

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