Once appointed, the guardian has a fiduciary obligation to the person with a disability. This means the guardian must act primarily for the benefit and in the best interest of the person with a disability. The duties of a guardian of the person is based on the powers ordered by the probate court, and may include such powers as custody of the person, providing for the care, comfort and maintenance, and arranging for educational, medical and psychological services. Furthermore, if they are appointed guardian of the estate, they must not invest the money in investments which are risky or otherwise careless.
When making major life decisions for the individual such as medical treatment and residential arrangements, the guardian should always consider the preferences of the person with a disability. The guardian has a duty to also file annual reports to the court on the estate or person with a disability regarding the status and care of the individual over the past year.
There are several areas of decision-making that are not included as part of the powers of a guardian, unless specifically ordered by the probate court. These include, but are not limited to placement in a facility, extraordinary medical treatment, for example experimental treatment, and other fundamental and or constitutional rights, for example freedom of religion.
These are complex and confusing areas of law. You should talk to a knowledgeable attorney or advocate if you have questions.
For more information, contact The Arc at 734-729-9100.
Phone code: 1410