A person appointed by the court to be legally responsible for another person and/or for another person’s property. While individuals are usually appointed to serve as guardians, a corporation or association may also serve in that capacity. A person for whom a guardian has been appointed is called a "ward" or "protected person."
In selecting a guardian, the court is required to give preference as follows:
A "guardian of the person" is appointed to protect and have physical custody of a ward and to provide for the ward’s day-to-day maintenance, paid from the ward’s assets. Maintenance means providing food, shelter, clothing, health care and other necessities. It includes responsibility for the education of a minor ward as required by law, and making decisions about medical treatment and other professional services the ward may require. Only a "natural person" (not a bank or a company) can be appointed as a guardian of the person.
A "guardian of the estate" is appointed to manage the property and financial assets of the ward for the ward’s best interests. Specifically, the guardian of the estate must:
Unless the court order appointing a guardian specifies otherwise, the same person is normally named as both guardian of the person and the estate.
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