What are the responsibilities of a guardian?
Under a limited guardianship, a guardian may only make those decisions that the court has authorized the guardian to make. This may include the authority and responsibility for some, but not all of the decisions identified below.
Under a full guardianship, the guardian is generally responsible for:
- Determining where the ward lives
- Making sure that the wardís basic needs (including food, clothing and comfort) are met
- Making decisions about the wardís health care, habilitation and treatment
- Keeping track and taking care of the wardís property and personal possessions
- Making some financial decisions for the ward, if the ward does not have a conservator
- Protecting and advocating for the wardís rights.
Under a full conservatorship, the conservator is generally responsible for:
- Using the protected personís income and financial resources to provide for the personís care, support and comfort, and to pay the personís bills and debts
- Keeping track and taking care of the protected personís property and personal possessions
- Investing or selling the protected personís assets and property, if this needs to be done to meet the personís needs.
Guardians must report to the court annually about their guardianship activities, the condition of the ward, and the status and condition of the wardís estate. Guardians should consult with an attorney about their specific responsibilities in this area.
Are guardians responsible for the financial, civil, or criminal acts of wards?
Generally, no. Guardians are not legally obligated to use their own funds to provide for their wards. Nor is a guardian generally liable for financial acts of the ward. The law does require, however, that a guardian use the wardís funds only in the wardís interest. A guardian may also be held responsible for the wardís acts if the guardian has been negligent.