You've been asked to be a guardian, but do you know what it really entails? Not all guardians are the same. Before you decide if you will or will not accept the request, take the time to better educate yourself about what a guardian is and does.
There are several kinds of guardians a person could be. For example, you can be a guardian of a person. You would then be able to make decisions about your ward's health care, welfare and education.
There are guardians who only protect property
Another type of guardian you could be is one of property. The guardian of property makes decisions about a ward's investments, money and savings. A judge is involved, and the guardian must report annually to the judge with information about the property.
Some guardians are appointed by the court
Guardians ad litem are those assigned by a judge. This person is responsible for acting on behalf of a person who cannot protect his or her own interests, like a young child or disabled party.
Other guardians do everything needed by the ward
Finally, a guardian of person and property is responsible for the ward's property and decisions about his or her life. For example, if a child has a guardian, he or she will be responsible for caring for the child along with his or her finances. Many times, children with guardians have trusts or other inheritances that have to be cared for to make sure the investment is protected and grows when possible.
These are a few kinds of guardians to remember. If you're asked to be one, you may want to consider whether or not this is something you would like to take on.
Source: New York State Unified Court System, "Guardianship Basics," accessed Aug. 14, 2017