There are four types of Guardianship that generally interest our clients.
Guardian of the Person
A guardian of the person has the authority to make decisions in most areas of a ward's personal life, including where the Ward will live, making sure that the Ward receives proper care, approving medical services for the Ward, and taking reasonable care of the Ward's personal belongings. A guardian of the person is not required to support the Ward financially and is not liable for the Ward's debts. A guardian of the person may be reimbursed from the Ward's estate for reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out his duties as guardian.
Guardian of the Estate
A guardian of the estate has authority to manage the Ward’s property and financial affairs only. The guardian of the estate does not have authority to make decisions regarding the care, custody or control of the Ward. The guardian must post a bond to protect the Ward from mismanagement or fraud. The guardian must complete an Annual Accounting with documentation of money coming in and out of the estate, including receipts, bank statements, and cancelled checks.
A general guardian has the powers and duties of both a guardian of the person and a guardian of the estate.
Guardian ad litem
Ideally, a person declared incompetent by the court system has powers of attorney designating a trusted person(s) to control their personal and medical affairs. If not, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent that person at an incompetency hearing.
Sometimes a loved one who is not making responsible decisions about money or health care also no longer has the faculties to sign a power of attorney. The family members realize an urgent need to take control of the assets and medical decisions, but may disagree on what to do. Mr. Gilliam will seek a swift legal intervention to preserve the person's dignity and protect his/her interests while transferring control before further harm is done.
For help with guardianship questions or filing a guardianship petition (including emergency petitions), contact the Gilliam Law Firm PLLC at (910) 485-8899 for an appointment.