Responsibilities of a guardian

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
A guardian takes care of a child's personal needs, including shelter, education, and medical care. A guardian may also provide financial management for a child, though sometimes a second person, often called a 'conservator' or 'guardian of the estate,' is appointed for this purpose. A guardian must be prepared to take on the ongoing responsibilities of legal guardianship, including potential liability for the child's actions. If a guardian is managing the child's finances, he or she must be willing to keep careful records, provide a court with periodic accountings and go to court when he or she needs permission to handle certain financial matters. The child may receive income from Social Security, public assistance programs, welfare, a parent, or the estate of a deceased parent. Such financial assistance may not be enough to support the child, and a guardian must be prepared to spend some of their own money to raise the child. A guardian must have the time and energy to raise a child, and should consider whether the guardianship would adversely affect his or her own family. A guardian acts as the legal parent of the child for the duration of the guardianship, and must be willing to take on this responsibility.

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