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Guardianship: A Quick Guide

If you have an elderly parent or loved one who can no longer take care of themselves, you may be considering guardianship. Guardianship is a legal process where a person is appointed by the court to make decisions for another adult who cannot make decisions for themselves. This can be a daunting process, but don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this blog post, we will discuss what guardianship is, the process of becoming a guardian, and the responsibilities of a guardian. Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will discuss the costs of guardianship and ways to pay for it.

Is it possible to terminate a guardian in the US?

Yes, it is possible to terminate a guardian in the US. However, the process may vary depending on the state in which you live. Generally speaking, you will need to petition the court that appointed the guardian and provide evidence that the guardian is no longer needed or that he or she is not fulfilling their duties adequately. The court will then review your petition and make a determination based on the best interests of the ward.


What Is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal relationship in which a person, the guardian, is given authority by a court to make decisions on behalf of another person, the ward. The ward is someone who is considered to be unable to take care of him- or herself due to age, disability, or illness. 

A guardian typically has authority over the ward’s personal care (e.g., where he or she lives and with whom), as well as his or her financial affairs. In some cases, guardianship also includes authority over the ward’s medical decisions. A guardian must act in the best interest of the ward at all times and must keep careful records of all actions taken on behalf of the ward. 

What Is the Purpose of a Guardian?

A guardian is a person who has been legally appointed to make decisions on behalf of another person, known as a ward. In the United States legal system, guardianship may be necessary when an individual is unable to make certain decisions for themselves due to incapacity or disability. For example, a guardian may be appointed to manage the financial affairs of a disabled person or make healthcare decisions on their behalf. The specific powers and duties of a guardian are determined by state law.

What Are the Powers of a Guardian?

A guardian has several responsibilities, including making sure the ward has food and shelter, providing for the ward’s medical needs, and protecting the ward’s property. In some cases, a guardian may also be responsible for making decisions about the ward’s education or marriage. 

A guardian has authority to make decisions on behalf of the ward only if the court has given the guardian that power, or if the parent of the ward has granted that power in writing. The powers of a guardian are governed by state law, and can vary depending on the type of guardianship arrangement that is in place. For example, a guardian may have limited powers if the guardianship is only set up to handle financial matters. 

How Is a Guardian Appointed in the United States?

The process for appointing a guardian in the US varies from state to state, but typically a family member or friend petitions the court to be appointed as guardian. The petitioner must prove that the person who needs a guardian is incapacitated and cannot make decisions for themselves, and the court will appoint a guardian who they believe will act in the best interests of the incapacitated person.

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