Who Is A Guardian?

Would you make a good guardian? Here’s how to find out.

Because guardianship is a long-term commitment, it is important to think about accepting the role before agreeing to take on the job. If you’re thinking about becoming a guardian, consider all the pros and cons. Being a guardian might not be the right job for you if you’re looking for:

  • Appreciation for your efforts
  • Financial security
  • Job benefits such as insurance and paid vacation
  • Job stability

In contrast, you may be a good candidate for becoming a guardian if you would like an opportunity to:

  • Gain personal satisfaction
  • Grow personally
  • Have a flexible and self-made work schedule
  • Help another individual
  • Overcome challenges
  • Provide a community service
  • Work at home

In addition to these things, the guardian is usually aware of and sensitive to the ward’s needs. The guardian should be someone who the ward feels is capable and trustworthy because the guardian is given authority to make decisions in areas where the ward is deemed incompetent. A guardian can also be held responsible if a court finds that he or she has not taken steps to assure that the ward receives proper care or if the ward’s finances have been mismanaged. On the other hand, the law does not require that a guardian spend his or her own money to keep the ward.

If the guardianship position seems like something that is right for you, you should make sure that you meet the following qualifications as well. You should:

  • Not be a creditor of the ward
  • Not be a service provider to the ward
  • Not be an employee of a service provider to the ward
  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Be someone who has never been convicted of a felony

It should be noted that some states also prefer that the guardian be a family member. In some cases, two individuals can serve as a ward's guardian, which occurs when the court names two individuals as “co-guardians.”

If you feel that you qualify to act as an individual’s guardian and would like to do so, you should contact your court system to learn more about your state’s specific regulations for guardianship.

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