In this series of blogs with regard to guardianship in Pennsylvania, I have discussed the nature and process of guardianship of the person. The guardian of an incapacitated has general and specific legal obligations and duties to the incapacitated person. The general obligations include: bringing lawsuits on their behalf in the case of injury; assertion of the rights and interests of the incapacitated person; respect for the wishes and preferences of the incapacitated person; participation, where appropriate in the development of a plan of support services to meet the incapacitated person’s needs; and encouragement of the incapacitated person to participate in the management of his or her personal affairs, if feasible.
Specifically, the guardian must file a yearly report with court attesting to the following:
- the current address and type of placement of the incapacitated person;
- any major medical or cognitive problems experienced by the incapacitated person since adjudication or the last annual report;
- a brief description of the incapacitated person’s living arrangements and the services the incapacitated person receives;
- the opinion of the guardian as to whether guardianship should continue, be terminated or modified;
- the number and length of times the guardian visited the incapacitated person in the past year;
A guardian may be compensated financially for serving in the guardianship position. The guardian must obtain the court’s approval for a fee and the compensation comes from the incapacitated person’s assets.