Ten Things to Think About: Choosing a Guardian

A guardian is appointed to look after an individual who needs someone to look after their personal and/or financial affairs. A guardian or a conservator is appointed to care for someone incapacitated by age or health problems. Guardianship is a legal relationship and the guardian is generally appointed by the court. In some cases, the individual can select the person who will be appointed as his or her guardian. Consider the following ten questions if you have to select a guardian:

• Is the person honest?

• Does the person have any criminal conviction(s)?

• Does the person manage his or her matters responsibly?

• Does the person have the necessary experience – professional, educational or business that is needed to perform the duties as a guardian?

• Does the person have the time to act as a guardian?

• Is the person suffering from any health problem?

• Was or is the person suffering from any form of substance abuse?

• How is the person’s relationship with other persons who are likely to be affected by the decisions the person may take as a guardian?

• Did the ward previously expressly his or her desire to appoint someone as the guardian? (in case of incapacitated ward)?

• Is the person related to the ward or does he or she know the ward well enough to discharge his or duties as the guardian?

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