When You Are A Professional Legal Guardian: Protecting Yourself Is Essential To Your Success
Professional legal guardians are responsible for taking care of the needs of an incapacitated individual. In many cases, this person is assigned by the probate court after an individual or facility has filed the need for a guardian based on a person's incapacity. While some people have already named a person who will take care of their affairs if they are no longer able to, others have not established a potential legal guardian in the event that they need one. If this person needing a guardian doesn't have a viable family member or friend who can do the job, a professional guardian will be assigned by the court system.
Obtaining a Surety Bond When You Have Fiduciary Responsibilities
While some legal guardians handle very little money, others find that they are assigned a guardianship for an individual who has significant assets. When you have a fiduciary responsibility to the person assigned to you, it's important to get a surety bond for the amount of the estate. This way, any heirs to the estate will be paid if you don't stand up to your obligations and you mismanage the funds. Most court systems require a surety bond for you to be assigned the case. For more information on surety bonds, check out a site like http://www.laprescali.com.
Yearly Accounting Must be Done to Ensure Money Isn't Being Wasted
As a professional legal guardian, you are also responsible for filing a yearly accounting with the probate court that outlines where any money the person you are the guardian for goes. If you had to liquidate any assets to pay bills, this should all be clear in the accounting you provide. The accounting protects you because if anyone questions where money is going, you can show this on the accounting. You have a responsibility to pay bills and to invest money in a responsible manner for the individual. Everything you do financially is recorded in the yearly accounting.
In addition to your financial responsibilities, you may also need to make medical decisions for the person you are assigned to. It's important to look through any old paperwork they may have regarding final wishes, and you may need to bring the case back into court if you want to move an individual from home to a nursing home. When a big decision must be made, you can always check in with the court to see if you have the full authority to make the decision.
When you are entrusted with the care of the medical and financial needs of another individual, it's important to work closely with the court system to determine the proper steps to take.