3 responsibilities to assume when you become a guardian

by | May 25, 2021 | Trustees, Executors & Fiduciaries |

People with many different relationships can want to help a ward or vulnerable person. Parents, both biological and adoptive, serve as the legal guardian for their children while they are still young. Adults with special needs and those experiencing cognitive decline due to health conditions or aging may require the support of a guardian as well.

For adult guardianships, the person assuming the role of guardian could be an adult child, a sibling or even a grandchild of the ward. A guardianship helps protect your loved one when they are no longer fully capable of managing their lives or acting in their own best interests.

As a guardian, you will need to fulfill multiple roles, including the three crucial obligations below.

Managing the finances of the ward

Improper financial management is often a consideration in guardianship hearings. Evidence that someone has begun to mismanage their money or has failed to pay crucial bills, like their mortgage, can alert the courts to the need for outside support.

As a guardian, you will need to handle someone’s assets with their best interests in your heart. You will need to seek to preserve or maximize their assets and make practical decisions about their expenses.

Ensuring the ward receives necessary medical care

Withdrawing from medical treatments, failing to attend appointments or refusing life-saving care can all be reasons for family members to seek a guardianship. Those experiencing incapacitation or declining cognitive function may not make always make decisions in their own best interests. The guardian can have access to medical records and can, therefore, make decisions that will benefit their ward in the long term.

Providing for the necessities of life and maximizing daily comfort

Many times, guardians have responsibility for the management of someone’s preexisting assets. However, not everyone experiencing medical issues or diagnosed with a disabling condition has enough resources to indefinitely support themselves.

When you become a guardian, you legally assume responsibility for meeting someone’s needs and acting on their behalf. Even if they can no longer buy their own groceries, you need to make sure that their nutritional needs getting met.

Guardianship is a crucial form of protection and oversight that can help your vulnerable loved one and protect them.