Becoming a legal guardian for a loved one is an incredibly noble act that many Virginia residents take on each year. The person who requires care, sometimes referred to as a “ward,” becomes totally dependent on the care of the appointed guardian. If you find yourself in a position to serve as a guardian for an adult loved one, there are some rights and responsibilities to be aware of.
Different types of guardianship
There are several types of guardianships. The type that your loved one requires depends on the severity of his or her disabilities. These types include:
- Conservatorship: You are responsible for their finances.
- Plenary: You provide total assistance to the ward.
- Personal Affairs: You help with certain areas of life including housing, education and healthcare.
- Limited Guardianship: This is the least restrictive type of guardianship, as you only help the ward make certain types of decisions.
When you become a guardian for an adult loved one, you must provide regular proof that you’re providing adequate care for the individual. Most states require annual reporting from the guardian that includes:
- The financial status of the ward
- An update on their well-being
- Where the ward currently lives
Responsibilities of a guardian
In addition to providing an annual report about the status of the ward under their care, guardians have other responsibilities that they must fulfill. The primary responsibility of a caregiver is to consistently act in the best interest of the ward. The court who officially orders a person to serve in a guardianship role will determine the details of the guardianship arrangement.
While the court-appointed guardian has certain rights over the person in their care, those rights come with several responsibilities. Understanding those rights and responsibilities can ensure that you’re completely informed about your new role as a guardian.