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Responsibilities of a Guardian of an Incapacitated Individual

Court-appointed guardians handle the affairs of wards who have been incapacitated because of mental or physical illness, drug or alcohol abuse, or any other kind or type of disability. Since the ward (the incapacitated individual) is unable to manage assets, health and other matters, the guardian is authorized to undertake all actions, including the payment of bills, taxes, and the management of other assets with the best interests of the ward in mind.

A guardian is also appointed to ensure the day-to-day care of the incapacitated individual.

Once appointed, a guardian fulfills various duties and responsibilities to meet the requirements of the incapacitated ward:

  • The guardian works in the interests of the ward, while keeping his or her own interests separate.
  • A guardian has the authority to make decisions about where to keep and invest the liquid assets of the ward.
  • The guardian manages the care of land, crops, buildings or any other assets that make up the ward’s estate.
  • Makes all decisions relating to sale and purchase of real estate in accordance with court guidelines and requirements.
  • Pays all medical and personal bills, files income tax returns, and pays taxes on behalf of the ward.
  • Arranges for appropriate care for the ward. Makes decisions regarding where the ward will live (whether at home or in hospital or in the care of a full time medical assistant) under court approval.
  • Provides information regarding medical treatment and personal care received by the ward to the court.


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