What It Means to Be a Guardian: 4 Key Responsibilities

February 21, 2017  |  Hensley Legal Services

If you have been appointed the legal guardian of someone, or you believe that this may occur, you likely want to know what it really means. There are many responsibilities that come with being named a guardian, so taking the time to understand them can be very helpful. When most people think about guardians, they think about taking care of a child. While this is the most common case, you may also be named the guardian of an adult who is unable to make their own legal decisions.

Making Financial Decisions

In some cases, a guardian will be put in place to help manage someone’s finances. If a child inherits a significant amount of money, for example, the guardian would need to help make decisions regarding those funds. When appointed a guardian over an adult, the guardian will have to make sure to pay any necessary bills, handle any investments, and make other related decisions. As a guardian, you are legally obligated to act in the best interests of the person who you are caring for. This means you can’t use the financial assets to pay your own bills or other personal things.

Making Medical Decisions

As a guardian, you will be responsible for making any medical decisions that may be necessary. If the adult or child in your care is injured, you would have to approve the treatment plan. When caring for an adult with medical issues, this will be a significant part of the responsibilities as a guardian.

Provide General Care

When appointed the guardian of a child, they will typically be living in your home. You will be responsible for providing them with all the essential care they need including food, clothes, affection, and more. If it is an adult that you are the guardian of, they may live in your home, or you may be responsible for making sure that they are in a safe long term care facility if that should be necessary. In either case, making sure they are getting all the general care they need is your responsibility.

Education

Guardians of minors need to make sure that the child or children are attending a good school and getting the education they need. In this area, the guardian acts much like a parent, making sure that the child is getting to class on time, finishing their homework, and keeping up with their studies. Guardians also choose what school the child will attend.

Questions About Guardianship?

Becoming a legal guardian is a big decision, and not one you want to take lightly. Speaking with a family law attorney can help get your questions answered and make sure that everything is being handled properly. Please don’t hesitate to contact Hensley Legal Services to set up a consultation to go over your case and get any assistance you may need.

Created by Hensley Legal Services

Hensley Legal Services

As a practicing attorney and founder of our law firm, Jeffrey A. Hensley’s guiding principle is to develop creative and resourceful strategies to resolve family law matters.

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Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103

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Email:  hensleylegalservices@gmail.com

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