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What are the limits to a legal guardian’s power?

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2023 | Estate Planning

Guardians of persons and estates hold significant authority to make important decisions for their wards. Some of their powers involve entering into contracts or disposing of properties on behalf of the persons under their guardianship. However, the law puts a limit on this authority to prevent abuse of power.

To the extent necessary

Guardians must perform their duties only to the extent necessary to provide for their wards’ needs and protect their properties. If there are options, guardians must choose the least restrictive choice to ensure the ward still keeps their rights and dignity despite having someone else decide for them.

Within the powers under the guardianship order

When a court appoints a guardian, it outlines their specific responsibilities and the limits thereof. For example, guardians can only purchase property on behalf of their wards if the order states that their power over property management is only limited to purchases and not sales.

In the best interest of the person under guardianship

If a guardian faces uncertainty during their decision-making process, they should mainly consider options that would be in the best interest and for the benefit of the person under their guardianship.

What if a guardian deems a particular choice as the best option for their ward but the order explicitly disallows it? In this situation, the guardian can file a petition in court explaining why it is the best option and that the court should grant it.

Ensuring your loved one’s care and protection

If you are considering guardianship for your loved one, it is reasonable to worry whether the appointed guardian will act within their duty and do what is best for their ward. Fortunately, the law limits guardians’ authority and provides remedies in case of a breach of duty.