When granting guardianship, the court can give the guardian complete control over a person’s life, depending on the extent of incapacity. The court can grant either guardianship of the person or guardianship of the estate.
In guardianship of the person, the guardian is granted the responsibility of making decisions relating to their ward’s medical treatment, residence, and other personal issues. Guardianship in estate allows the guardian to manage the ward’s estate, income, legal actions, insurance claims, and assets.
Some of the responsibilities of a conservator include:
- Taking charge of the ward’s meals, clothing, personal care, housekeeping, transportation, recreation, and overall well-being.
- Making decisions on where they reside.
- Making medical decisions, including paying their medical bills.
- Making decisions affecting their quality of life.
- Protecting the adult from financial exploitation by creditors.
- Ensuring living conditions are in good shape.
- Providing consent for medical treatments.
- Deciding how the ward’s assets are invested.
- Proper management of the ward’s finances.
- Ensuring income taxes are filed and paid as needed.
- Making crisis decisions.
- Keeping records of expenditures and financial transactions and making regular reports of the financial accounts to the court.
A conservator has a legal obligation to make decisions in the ward’s best interest. Most importantly, the guardian must not use the ward?s resources for their personal gain. That means a guardian can be sued by interested parties if there is a reason to believe that they did not act in the ward’s best interests.