Generally, becoming a guardian means you are legally responsible for a person and can make decisions on their behalf. The first thing that might come to mind is becoming a guardian of a child. However, there are many different types of guardianships out there.
Understanding the multiple types of guardianships
Guardianship can change based on each individual case. A court might appoint someone to be a guardian of a property, a person or both. Guardianship of a person means that the guardian has the power to make decisions on behalf of the person. This includes decisions related to:
- Entering contracts
- Managing legal disputes when suing or defending the person in lawsuits
- Consenting to medical or mental health treatment
- Deciding where to live
- Managing, gaining or disposing of property
- Deciding on the person’s social environment and interactions
A person’s guardian might be required to file reports with the court or prove that they have the person’s best interest at heart. While guardianship typically refers to the care of a minor, there can also be guardianship of an older person who is previously proven to not be able to make decisions for themselves.
Guardians of property can’t make decisions on a person’s behalf unless it relates specifically to property. In this case, they can manage and maintain property but do not have the right to sell, transfer, mortgage or donate any part of the property without consent. Often, when you have guardianship of a person, you also have guardianship over their property but not in every case.
How do you establish guardianship?
Guardianship isn’t taken lightly in court. Before trying to establish guardianship of a person or property, you may want to reach out to a lawyer to discuss what you need to prove to the court.