Kinds of Guardians

Limited Guardian
A limited guardian is a guardian whose powers are specifically limited by the probate court. A ward for whom a limited guardian has been appointed retains all rights in all areas not covered by the Court's order limiting the guardianship.

Interim Guardian
An interim guardian is a guardian appointed after a former guardian has been removed or resigns or when the welfare of the ward requires immediate action.

Emergency Guardian
An emergency guardian is a guardian appointed by the probate court without a formal hearing when an emergency exists and a guardian is necessary to prevent injury to the person or estate of the ward. The emergency guardianship is only valid for 72 hours, but may be extended for not to exceed 30 days.

Superior Guardian
The Probate Court is the superior guardian. Guardians must obey all orders of the Court.

Guardian of the Person
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. 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. A guardian of the person may also serve as guardian of an incompetent adult's minor children, if no other guardian has been appointed for them. Only a natural person (not a bank or a company) can be appointed as a guardian of the person.

Guardian of the Estate
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:
  • Pay all debts owed by the ward
  • Collect all money owed to the ward
  • Settle and adjust any assets received from the executor or administrator of an estate
  • Deposit all funds of the ward into an account in the name of the guardian as fiduciary
  • Invest any of the ward's funds not needed for current obligations according to legal guidelines
  • File an official inventory and accounts of the ward''s estate with the court on a regular basis
  • File or defend lawsuits on behalf of the ward if necessary to protect his or her interests
Note: Unless the court order appointing a guardian specifies otherwise, the same person is normally named as both guardian of the person and the estate.