Understanding the Role of Legal Guardians

Personal Injury Lawyer

As the population ages, the need for the courts to appoint one person to care for another is becoming more prevalent. That is what taking the role of a legal guardian is all about. Basically, it means that one person becomes responsible for the well-being of another person.


Most court-appointed guardianships are put in place because the person is a minor, incapacitated, or disabled. The duties vary, but most guardians are responsible for the general safety and welfare of the ward they are responsible for. The duty is sometimes called a conservatorship and can include:

  • Financial decisions
  • Medical care
  • Legal or contractual agreements
  • Physical protection

This fiduciary duty means the guardian always agrees to act only in the best interest of the ward, which can mean making some difficult decisions regarding the health or finances of another person. The elder or minor may not like where they are asked to live, how their money is spent, or who is in charge, but when guardianship is established, the ward’s freedom of life and liberty is considered limited.


There are regulations in every state to control the guardianship association and the manner of possible dealings between the ward and guardian. Placing the finances and well-being of another individual into the hands of a guardian is a heavy responsibility, and it comes with the supervision of all expenditures. That is why the responsible party must keep records of all decisions they make on behalf of their ward. The records should include:

  • Financial expenditures
  • Medical care
  • Bank accounts
  • Costs of living

All dealings are deemed open to the court, and the guardian is legally responsible for irresponsible or self-serving decisions. To make record review a more manageable task, the finances and property of the ward are always kept separate from the monies and assets of the guardian, and in all ways. To co-mingle funds is considered a breach of the guardian’s fiduciary duty, and termination is often the result. A new guardian is then appointed that can make a legal claim on behalf of the estate for all the losses suffered by the ward under the hands of the previous guardian.


Setting up a guardianship can be a complicated matter. That is why you should seek the legal knowledge of a qualified estate planning lawyer to help you with the process. If you need to establish a guardianship, contact your attorney, like an estate planning lawyer from Klenk Law, and allow them to assist you in working out the details in court.