A guardianship allows an elected person to have the legal authority to care for a person when they cannot care for themselves. Typically, this occurs if an adult becomes incapacitated, or when a person is elderly. If you are of sound mind, you can appoint a guardian for yourself in the event that you become incapacitated. Additionally, you may be able to appoint yourself as a guardian for another individual, or in other instances, a court may appoint you as another person’s guardian. Read on to learn more about guardianships in California.
How do I pick a guardian?
Generally, there are two reasons to pick a guardian. You can choose a guardian to make important decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated. The other reason to choose a guardian is to choose a caretaker for your children– If you are a parent of a child under the age of 18 and need someone to care for that child in the event that you are unable to do so yourself, you can select a guardian. Regardless, it is important that you choose someone that you trust to handle these major responsibilities.
What responsibilities does a guardian have?
If you are appointed as a guardian for another person’s property or finances, you are considered a fiduciary. This means that you must follow the following rules set by the state of California:
- You must only act in the individual’s best interest
- You must manage the individual’s money and property carefully and responsibly
- You must keep the individual’s money and property entirely separate from their own
- You must keep orderly records of all money and property
Additionally, you must also be responsible to the court. This means that you will have to always answer the court’s questions regarding your duties and actions as that individual’s guardian. You will be responsible for the following:
- Ensure the person you are a guardian for is living in a safe environment
- Pay all bills and taxes on time
- List every asset the individual owns
- Always follow the court’s instructions
- Keep receipts for all expenses related to your guardianship
- In certain cases, you must ensure all healthcare needs are met
If you have been appointed as a guardian, or you are looking to choose a guardian, our firm is here to help. Reach out today with any questions or concerns you may have.
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Estate planning is a more urgent matter than you may think. You never know what the future holds. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.