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A guardian is a person appointed by a court to manage the affairs of a person who is incapacitated. A guardian may be appointed to manage the financial affairs of a person at significant risk of harm because of a demonstrated inability to adequately manage property or financial affairs. A guardian may be appointed to make health care and other non-financial decisions for a person at significant risk of harm because of a demonstrated inability to adequately provide for nutrition, health, housing or physical safety.
A guardian of the estate of an incapacitated person is responsible for management of the person's property and finances. He or she must file an inventory with the court within three months of appointment, as well as an annual accounting. Some management decisions will require court approval.
A guardian's responsibilities depend on whether and how the guardian's role has been limited by the court. It is common to talk about two broad categories of responsibility - "estate" and "person" - but a limited guardianship could contain elements from one or both categories.
A guardian of the person is responsible for assessing the person's physical, mental and emotional needs, and any need for assistance in activities of daily living. He or she will be responsible for implementing a plan to meet these needs, and must file a care plan (identifying needs and explaining how they will be met) with the court within three months of appointment, as well as an annual status report.
A guardian of the person may also be responsible for giving or withholding consent to medical treatment.
Names of forms may differ for each state