Guardianship of the Estate

Guardianship of the estate is a legal arrangement in which a court appoints a person or entity as a Guardian to manage the financial and property-related affairs of someone else, known as a Ward.

This type of Guardianship is established when the ward is unable to manage their own financial matters due to factors such as age, incapacity, disability, or vulnerability.

This is in contrast to Guardian of the Person, which is a guardian that only focuses on personal and daily life decisions.

These two types of guardianships may be established independently or together, depending on the specific circumstances and needs of the individual requiring guardianship.

Key points related to guardianship of the estate include:

Guardian's Role: The guardian of the estate assumes responsibility for managing the financial Assets, property, and financial transactions of the ward. This includes tasks such as paying bills, managing investments, collecting income, and handling financial paperwork.

Extent of Authority: The court defines the scope of the guardian's authority over the ward's financial matters. The guardian's decisions should align with the Best Interests of the ward and ensure the proper management of assets.

Protection of Assets: The guardian is tasked with safeguarding the ward's assets and making sound financial decisions on their behalf to ensure that their financial well-being is maintained.

Court Oversight: While the guardian has the authority to manage the Estate, the court may retain a supervisory role to ensure that the guardian acts in the ward's best interests and fulfills their duties appropriately.

Reporting and Accountability: Guardians of the estate often need to provide regular reports to the court detailing their financial activities and decisions, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Benefit to the Ward: Guardianship of the estate aims to protect the ward's financial resources, prevent exploitation, and ensure that their financial needs are met, even when they are unable to manage their affairs independently.

Alternatives Considered: Just as with guardianship of the person, the court typically considers less restrictive alternatives before establishing guardianship of the estate, to determine the most appropriate level of intervention.

The procedures for establishing guardianship of the estate vary based state law and so it's important to consult with an Guardianship Attorney or Family Law Attorney.