Did you want to become a guardian to help others, or was it a duty you took on because you believed no one could take care of your loved one better than you? Whatever the case may be, you have the responsibility of looking after someone who can no longer care for themselves.
However, there may be times that the role presents challenges you are not ready for. Did you know about these problems before you took the job?
As a fiduciary representative, the state holds you to specific standards in caring for an incapacitated child or adult. As part of your duties of looking after the person’s financial accounts, you must file receipts and reports of disbursements for the year.
Accounts may require an attorney’s assistance, which requires money. If your ward does not have adequate funds, you may have to pay the fees yourself, seek free or low-cost assistance or petition the courts for payment.
As a guardian of the person, you must provide care, supervision, food, clothing and shelter. Medical care also falls under this type of guardianship. This means you make or assist your ward with health care decisions ranging from routine doctors’ appointments to surgical procedures to end-of-life choices.
When making medical decisions for your ward, the family members may want to have more involvement, leading to disagreements, arguments and court appearances.
Know the law and your rights as a guardian when caring for your family member or when speaking with your ward’s loved ones concerning financial and medical issues.