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Powers over Ward’s Property

A guardian of the estate is required to:

• provide the ward with the greatest amount of independence and self-determination with respect to property management in light of the ward’s impairment;

• consider the ward’s personal preferences and desires;

• take any action that is the least restrictive form of intervention;

• use the judgment and care that persons of prudence, discretion, and intelligence exercise in managing their own affairs;

• use the ward’s income and property to maintain and support the ward and any of the ward’s dependents;

• determine if the ward executed a will and, if so, the will’s location and the appropriate persons to be notified of the ward’s death;

• upon the ward’s death, deliver the ward’s assets to the entitled persons;

• file a sworn statement with the register of deeds of any county in which the ward possessed real property, describing the property and the date the ward was determined to be incompetent;

• notify the court of any change of address of the guardian or the ward; and

• perform other duties as required by the court.

If not limited by the court, the guardian has authority to take the following actions without prior court approval:

• support another individual whom the ward is legally obligated to support;

• enter into a contract on behalf of the ward;

• exercise the ward’s options to purchase securities or other property;

• authorize access to or release of the ward’s confidential financial records;

• apply for public and private benefits on the ward’s behalf;

• pay the ward’s legally enforceable debts, including any taxes owed;

• retain real or personal property that the ward already possesses or acquires by gift or inheritance during the tenure of the guardian;

• settle the ward’s claims and accounts; and

• appear for and represent the ward in actions such as court hearings.

Inside Powers over Ward’s Property