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Guardianship Encyclopedia

Guardianship Encyclopedia

What is a Guardian?

In the simplest terms a guardian is a person who is responsible for the care of someone else. The most common example of a guardian is the relationship between a parent and child. That also describes the high level of trust that must exist between a guardian and the person to whom they are responsible. Often this child parent relationship becomes reversed and we become the guardian to a parent when they become elderly and unable to manage their own affairs. Many people take care of this situation in an informal manner by creating a power of attorney for health care concerns and for financial concerns.

Other examples of a guardian might be a person who is serving as a representative payee for receipt of social security benefits or a legal custodian who receives veteran administration payments on behalf of someone. In both instances the guardian or fiduciary has to take action that is in the best interest of the ward or payee.

In a more general way, a guardian may simply be someone who is providing care for another person like housekeeping or medical services. These relationships are to be distinguished from the official appointment of a guardian by a court.

The alternative to a Power of Attorney is to request appointment of a guardian if the individual lacks the capacity to make their own decisions because they are incapacitated. The decision–making authority then may be applied for by applying to a court for the appointment of a Guardian or Conservator.

For our “Find a Guardian” feature on the homepage of we have made the definition of a guardian very broad for those people who want to locate someone who has been referenced through and is reputable in the field in which they practice like a registered guardian who has taken classes and is properly insured. However you might be looking for something like home health care services or light housekeeping duties and want to know that the company has a decent track record and can be trusted. Because above all trust is the most important element of a relationship between a guardian and our loved one.

How is a Guardianship created? How is a guardianship created?