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Should you get separate guardians for a person and their estate?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Guardianship |

When establishing guardianship, not only do you have to decide who to nominate as guardian, but also whether to nominate the same person or separate individuals for your loved one’s care and their financial management.

If you are unsure about the situation, here are a few things to consider:

Understanding the difference between the two

Guardianship of a person involves making decisions about the physical care and well-being of an individual. This includes decisions on healthcare, living arrangements and ensuring their general welfare. Usually, a family member or close friend of the ward fills this role since they know the latter’s personal life, needs and preferences.

On the other hand, guardianship of an estate involves managing an individual’s financial affairs, including their assets, income, investments and property. This role requires someone who is skilled in financial matters and can responsibly handle the individual’s estate.

Considerations for guardian appointment

Given the distinction above, many opt to establish separate guardianships for a person and their estate. However, there are instances when appointing the same guardian is suitable and works well, such as the following:

  • Consistency: A single guardian may be able to make more consistent decisions that account both the personal well-being and financial interests of the ward.
  • Simplicity: Having one guardian can simplify communication and decision-making processes, as there is only one point of contact.
  • Trust and relationship: If the ward and their family trust the same individual in both personal and financial matters, it makes sense to have them oversee both aspects, especially if that person has a strong, positive relationship with the person under guardianship.

Whether it is better to have one guardian for both person and estate or separate guardians will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding the ward’s situation. In this case, it is advisable to seek guidance from a legal representative knowledgeable in guardianship administration to ensure you make decisions tailored to your situation.