Being appointed by the court as guardian for an incapacitated person is a significant responsibility. It requires you to perform certain duties in the best interests of your ward. However, the specific duties can vary.

According to the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, the duties you must perform as a guardian depend on whether you are a guardian of the person or a guardian of the estate. You may be appointed as both the guardian of the person and of the estate, or of one area.

Guardian of the Person

As a guardian of the person, you are responsible for the ward’s maintenance and care on a day-to-day basis. Your ward does not necessarily live with you, but you have the authority to determine where he or she will reside. Your responsibilities also relate to decisions on medical and dental care as well as on hiring caregivers, if required.  You may arrange for education and training with the goal of helping your ward become as independent as possible. Every year, you must fill out a form to provide an annual report to the statewide Guardian Tracking System, as well as a notice of its filing to all interested parties.

Guardian of the Estate

As a guardian of the estate, your responsibility is to manage your ward’s finances and to make financial decisions in the ward’s best interests. Like a guardian of the person, you must fill out an annual report. You must file an inventory of your ward’s asses shortly after your appointment.  You are also responsible for paying debts, expenses and other obligations from your ward’s income, investigating the whereabouts of all assets and safeguarding them from loss.