Understanding Guardianship

On Behalf of | May 18, 2020 | Estate Planning, Guardianship |

For many, setting up a guardianship for a beloved family member may be a growing concern. Several do not know how to begin with the process and others are unaware of the rights and obligations that can arise from taking on this responsibility. It is important for people to be aware of what is guardianship and how it is legally assembled.

Defining guardianship

A guardianship is a trusted association created by the court with the intent of having one of the legal parties, the guardian, oversee the rights of the other, who is considered the incapacitated party. The guardian has the duty to look over the incapacitated party’s best interest, whether it be focused on financial matters, food, clothing, shelter, and health.

Usually, once a guardian has been appointed, it is assumed that the relationships shall be permanent unless the incapacitated party is a minor, in which case the relationship shall end when he or she comes of age. The relationship can also end when a judge believes that it is no longer needed.

Types of guardianships

It is important for guardians to know that there are two different kinds of guardianship: guardian of the estate and guardian of the person. The difference between the two is that, in the former, the guardian has the right to monitor the incapacitated party’s finances and property. In the latter, the guardian can oversee the other party’s personal affairs, such as health, education, housing, etc.

There are several key elements that must be known by either party to ensure that the guardianship relationship works for everyone’s best interests.