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Duties & Powers of the Guardian

The guardian has the duties and powers reasonably necessary to provide adequately for the support, care, education, and well-being of the ward from the ward's assets or public assistance, as necessary, even to the extent of participating in legal proceedings where appropriate or advisable. Subject to some restrictions, the guardian may give medical consent for the ward and generally may establish a ward's abode. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act has been interpreted under certain circumstances to require that a ward receive care in the least restrictive setting necessary.


A guardian of the person shall respect and maintain the individual rights and dignity of the ward at all times. The guardian shall be reasonably accessible to the ward and shall maintain regular communication with the ward. A status report describing the ward's general condition, living situation, progress, development, and needs, plus any recommendations for changes in the guardianship, must be filed four months after appointment and every year (annually) on the anniversary of the guardian's appointment.


Upon order from the court, a guardian of the property may sell, lease, encumber, or exchange property of the ward for payment of the ward's debts, for support and education of the ward or dependents of the ward, or for reinvestment. The guardian of the property must file both an inventory with the court four months after appointment and thereafter an annual return accounting for income received and expenditures made on the ward's behalf. The guardian of the property is entitled to commissions for what he or she has received and paid out. All guardians must file a petition in court to obtain permission to perform any act not specifically authorized.

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