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I’ve been appointed as a guardian. What do I do now?

| Mar 24, 2016 | Guardianships & Conservatorships |

Many people will eventually need a guardian as they get older. These people, called wards, are appointed (or appoint) a guardian to take care of them and make decisions for them. Though the titles involved here make it sound like some science fiction or fantasy movie, these roles are critical and very serious. When a ward has a guardian, the relationship between the two is crucial because the ward relies on the guardian to help them perform basic duties and fulfill certain tasks.

If you have just been appointed as a guardian to a ward, you may have a lot of questions. Let’s try to answer some of those questions today.

First, how do you get appointed? Well, you can be chosen and appointed by the ward, or a court may appoint you. You have to be qualified to be given the title “guardian” in the first place, but those are the two ways someone is actually appointed.

If you are granted the title of guardian, then you will have a number of powers bestowed upon you, and you must use these powers responsibly and act on behalf of your ward in a respectful and diligent way. You must care for and maintain the ward. You can make financial and medical decision for the ward. You must organize and maintain the educational and medical services the ward receives. And you must update the court on how your ward is doing and his or her needs are, and what condition he or she is in.

During your tenure as guardian, you must uphold your responsibilities and treat your ward respectfully. Negligent care or abusive actions will lead to the removal of your title, and it could lead to serious legal consequences.

Source: FindLaw, “Guardianship of Incapacitated or Disabled Persons,” Accessed March 24, 2016

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