Powers & Duties of a Guardian
Becoming a guardian is a big responsibility. There are many things that guardians must do to make sure the ward is taken care of, and many things that guardians must report back to the court. There are also many things a guardian cannot do without first getting the court’s permission. Read on for more information about all that is required of a guardian.
What the Guardian Must Do
The duties and responsibilities of a guardian vary depending on what type of guardianship is granted. The full list is contained in the “Acknowledgment of Duties and Responsibilities Under NRS 159.” This is a form that every guardian must complete once the court has appointed the person as a guardian. The guardian must initial each applicable item, sign the form, and file it with the court.
To learn about all of the responsibilities a guardian assumes, please read the “Guardian’s Acknowledgment of Duties” above. However, the very basic responsibilities of a guardian are:
For Guardians Over the Person:
- Provide proper care, maintenance, education, and support.
- Supply food, clothing, shelter, and necessaries.
- Authorize medical, surgical, dental, psychiatric, and psychological care (although some medical treatments, such as experimental treatments, require court approval).
- Making sure the ward is properly trained and educated, and that the ward has the opportunity to learn a trade, occupation, or profession.
- File an Annual Report of the Guardian each year letting the court know how the ward is doing.
For Guardians Over the Estate:
- Protect, preserve, manage, and dispose of the estate of the ward according to law and for the best interest of the ward.
- Use the ward’s estate for the proper care, maintenance, education, and support of the ward and any person the ward owes a legal duty of support.
- File a Proof of Blocked Account form if the court ordered a blocked account.
- Provide an Inventory of Assets within 60 days of being appointed the guardian.
- File an Annual Accounting detailing the estate’s income, assets, and expenses. A hearing is required for the judge to review and approve the accounting.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created the following guide for guardians over the estate in both English and Spanish.
For Guardians Over the Person & Estate: Guardians over the person and estate must do all of the above.
What the Guardian Cannot Do Without Court Approval
A guardian does not have complete power to make all decisions for the ward. There are many things that a guardian cannot do without first getting the court’s permission, especially when it comes to the ward’s finances. The “Guardian’s Acknowledgment of Duties” includes a section titled “Court Authority” where the full list of items requiring prior court approval is listed. The most common items that require court permission first include:
- Moving the ward out of the state of Nevada.
- Placing the ward in a secured residential long-term care facility.
- Spending or investing the ward’s money. The guardian can ask the court to approve a monthly budget to pay the ward’s monthly expenses.
- Selling the ward’s home or any real property.
- Making or changing the ward’s last will and testament, or change any beneficiaries.
- Terminating the guardianship. The guardian usually cannot be released from his or her duties unless the ward has died, regained competency, or the guardianship is over a child who has turned 18. Please visit Terminating a Guardianship for more information on how to end a guardianship.
Many forms to request the above court orders can be found by visiting the Getting Additional Court Orders section of this website.