A legal guardian is a person with the legal authority to act as the primary caretaker of another person. A legal guardian is necessary if the parents of the person who needs guardianship are unable to take care of the child. Either the parents or the court can choose the legal guardian.
Functions of a Legal Guardian
Here are some of the specific functions a legal guardian may have.
The provision of the necessities of life is one of the basic duties of a legal guardian. The legal guardian should help the person under their care to get food, to have a place to live and clothes to wear, and to feel secure, among other things.
Making Financial Decisions
Financial decisions require adult maturity. A legal guardian can help the person under their care decide a property to rent or what investments to make if the person is a little bit older, as well as how to buy things and pay for goods and services if the person is young.
Making Medical Decisions
Medical decisions are critical since they are a matter of life and death. The legal guardian can help decide which doctors the person under their care can see when sick, which medical coverage to get, and which treatments are necessary.
Education is one of the life-long gifts that one person can give another. A legal guardian can also help the person under their care find the right school, enroll in it, and get the necessary educational materials.
Who Needs a Legal Guardian?
There are three main categories of people who need legal guardians.
Children below the age of 18 cannot take care of themselves. Apart from the issue of necessities, children also need security, housing, medical insurance, and many other things. Minors may find it difficult to get most of these things without the assistance of adults.
Mentally Incompetent Adults
Mental incompetence or incapacitation may make an adult unable to take care of themselves. Such an adult may need a guardian to take care of them. For example, a mentally ill person may not have the capacity to manage their finances, seek legal redress when wronged, or get good medical care.
Physical Incapacitated Adults
Even a mentally competent adult may need legal guardianship if the adult's physical frailties cannot allow them to take care of themselves. For example, total paralysis makes a person dependent on others for their day-to-day life. Such a person may even need help, for example, to make it to their dental appointments. A legal guardian can provide the necessary assistance.
For more information on legal guardianship, contact a law firm like Souders Law Group.