Guardian of the estate
A guardian of the estate is a person appointed by a court to manage the money and property of an incapacitated person or ward.
Guardian of the person
A guardian of the person is a person appointed by a court to make decisions regarding the personal well-being of an incapacitated person, including decisions about medical care, employment, and living arrangements. One person may be appointed as both guardian of the estate and guardian of the person, or the court may appoint two different people.
An incapacitated person, also known as a ward, is a person or ward for whom the court has appointed a guardian because he or she cannot manage his or her own personal or financial affairs because of a mental or physical condition.
The estate is all of the money and property owned by the incapacitated person.
A fiduciary is a person who has a special relationship to act for another person. A fiduciary must act in the other person’s best interest at all times and must be diligent, trustworthy, and honest in doing so. A guardian of the estate is a fiduciary to the incapacitated person and owes fiduciary duties.
Conflict of interest
A conflict of interest occurs when a decision puts what is best for one person ahead of what is best for the other person. A guardian of the estate must avoid conflicts of interest by managing the incapacitated person’s estate in the way that is best for the incapacitated person regardless of what might be good for the guardian or others.
A guardianship order is an order that a court issues to create a guardianship and appoint a guardian fo the estate. The order might outline the guardian's powers and duties. This is a separate document from the letters of guardianship.
A bond is an insurance policy that the guardian of the estate must get and file with the court before managing an incapacitated person’s estate.
Letters of guardianship
The letters of guardianship is the document issued by the court clerk to the guardian of the estate that shows the guardian has authority to manage the incapacitated person’s estate. This is a separate document from the guardianship order.
An inventory is a complete list of all money and property owned by the incapacitated person. Within 30 days of becoming guardian of the estate, the guardian must make an inventory and file it with the court.
An annual account is the report the guardian of the estate must prepare and file with the court each year that details all of the income received by the estate and all expenditures paid out from the estate for the year.