Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Legal Guardian or Guardianship

A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward. Usually, a person has the status of guardian because the ward is incapable of caring for his or her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability.

Courts generally have the power to appoint a guardian for an individual in need of special protection. A guardian with responsibility for both the personal well-being and the financial interests of the ward is a general guardian. A person may also be appointed as a special guardian, having limited powers over the interests of the ward. A special guardian may, for example, be given the legal right to determine the disposition of the ward's property without being given any authority over the ward's person. A guardian appointed to represent the interests of a person with respect to a single action in litigation is a guardian ad litem.

Most Estates have very detailed guardianship laws. Filing should only be done by an attorney. In order to have a guardian appointed for a person, the following steps must be taken:

• A petition must be filed with the circuit court to determine your incapacity.
• A petition must be filed to appoint a guardian.
• A budget and care plan must be prepared.
• The guardian must make periodic reporting.
• You will have an attorney appointed to represent your interests.
• You will be examined by a panel of three to determine the scope of your incapacity.

The costs associated with the guardianship may be borne by your estate, if you have personal property.

On ..........Being A Guardian

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