In New York and throughout the United States, it is unfortunate that circumstances sometimes arise where adults need to be cared for by other adults. Often, this is done by a family member, but it is not required. When a person cannot make decisions on their own and needs help, a guardianship could be necessary. For people who are concerned about the well-being of another and want to move forward with a guardianship, it is imperative to understand the responsibilities it entails and what the law says about a guardian’s obligations. Having professional help is key in these cases.
Vital facts about guardianships
There are fundamentals regarding guardianships. Guardians can be put in charge of the care of a child, an adult who has become incapacitated, or a person who is developmentally disabled. The guardian is a court-appointed individual who will make decisions in the person – the ward’s – stead. The age requirement to be a guardian is 18. It must also be a legal U.S. resident or a citizen. For those who have a criminal record, the determination as to whether that person can serve as a guardian is made on a case by case basis.
There are four areas in which a guardian can oversee a ward’s affairs. They are as guardian of the person; guardian of the property; guardian of both; and guardian ad litem. The guardian of the person makes the decisions on the basics like education and their health care. Property is their finances, if they own real estate, collectibles and more. It is important to note that annual reports are required for guardians of the property. The guardian ad litem will be named by the judge and stand in for the ward if they are unable to handle their own affairs.
Being aware of the responsibilities of a guardianship
Whether it is an infirm elderly person, a child, a person with development disabilities or an adult who has severe injuries, the guardianship is a significant responsibility that some might have neither the desire nor the ability to fulfill. When considering a guardianship, it is wise to be cognizant of all it entails and to be legally and personally prepared to take on that vast responsibility. With guardianships, experienced legal advice can be helpful from the beginning and throughout the process.