Guardians A Guide To Performing Your Fiduciary Duties {PR4} | Pdf Fpdf Doc Docx | Indiana

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Guardians A Guide To Performing Your Fiduciary Duties {PR4} | Pdf Fpdf Doc Docx | Indiana

Last updated: 9/10/2012

Guardians A Guide To Performing Your Fiduciary Duties {PR4}

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GUARDIANS: A GUIDE TO PERFORMING YOUR FIDUCIARY DUTIES LR-29-PR00-702.70 FORM PR00-4 1. INTRODUCTION You have just taken an oath to faithfully discharge your duties as a guardian. This oath was intended to impress upon you that you have been placed in a position of the utmost trust and responsibility. Most guardians are given the power and duty to handle an incompetent person's financial affairs. Occasionally, however, the court appoints a guardian when the incapacitated adult or minor has no assets or the powers granted the guardian do not encompass the property of the incapacitated person. If your appointment does not include control of any financial affairs, then your duties are limited to the specific purpose for which the guardianship was established. Most of the remainder of this guide pertains to guardians who are appointed for the purpose of managing the property of a protected person. The specifics of your duties to handle the protected person's property will be discussed shortly, but you'll go a long way toward success by simply remembering that the property you will be handling is not your own You must handle the property of the protected person as you would have the protected person handle your property. 11. SPECIFIC DUTIES The person over whom you have been appointed guardian is under some disability which prevents him from competently handling his financial affairs. Your job is to handle this aspect of life for him. There's really nothing mysterious about what you'll be doing. Just as you personally have an income, pay bills, buy clothing and pay taxes, the protected person will in all likelihood have an income, owe bills, need clothing and be required to pay taxes. The only difference between the two of you is that you can handle these tasks on your own, while the protected person requires your assistance to accomplish them. Indiana Law specifically details the duties of the guardian. We now turn to an examination of that law. A. BOND In order to protect the protected person, every guardian must post a sufficient bond with the court before undertaking his duties. The amount of the bond is fixed at an amount equal to all of the protected person's personal property, plus the annual rental value of any real estate. While there is no exception to the bond requirement, there may be an alternative. If the protected person owns assets American LegalNet, Inc. above and beyond those necessary to provide for his needs, you may petition the court for per-mission to place the excess funds in a restricted account. Typically a restricted account is a Certificate of Deposit with the following words typed on the face of the document: ''not to be cashed without " If the guardianship is over a minor, the following order of Hamilton Superior Court No. words may be added: ''or upon protected person reaching the age of 18''. Provided there exist no other reasons for requiring bond, the restricted funds will then be exempt from the bond requirement. Finally, you may be wondering why the court may have required only a minimal bond upon your appointment. The reason is simple -- neither the court nor you are yet fully aware of the extent of the protected person's assets. Upon your filing of an inventory, the bond will be adjusted accordingly. B. INVENTORY Indiana Law requires that every guardian of another person's property file an inventory of that -property within ninety (90) day of the date of his appointment. The inventory serves an important --purpose: it apprises both you and the court of the extent of the protected person's property. The inventory which you file must contain every item of the protected person's property which shall come to your possession or knowledge. The property must be classified as to its type (e.g., stocks, bank accounts, real estate) and, if encumbered by a mortgage or other lien, this fact must also be noted. The fair market value of each item of the protected person's property must be indicated in the inventory. Many items, such as bank accounts, will pose no valuation problems. However, where there is reasonable doubt as to the value of property, the law permits the employment of a disinterested appraiser to assist in the valuation process. If an appraiser is employed, his name and address must be indicated on the inventory. C. TAKING POSSESSION OF THE PROTECTED PERSON'S PROPERTY Your letters of guardianship represent your authority to act for the protected -person. By representing these to persons or institutions who may be holding the protected person's property, you will be permitted to take that property into your possession. The phrase ''take possession'' should not be construed literally. It is not intended that you run out and gather everything the protected person owns so that you can store it in your basement. Rather, you need to contact the persons or institutions holding your protected person's property, either show them or provide them with your copies of your letters, and arrange for the funds or property to be held in the protected person's name with your name listed as guardian. So that no one except you can draw on said funds, do not surrender the original copy of your letters of guardianship -- certified copies of your letters may be obtained from the Hamilton County Clerk's Office. American LegalNet, Inc. D. PAYING THE PROTECTED PERSON'S BILLS AND EXPENSES Your primary purpose as guardian of an adult incompetent's estate is to manage his financial affairs. As part of your management responsibility you will be required to pay all valid bills, expenses and claims of the protected person while constantly bearing in mind your duty to preserve the assets of your ward. In order to pay these bills, a checking account must be opened. This account will be in your name as guardian. The fact that it is a guardianship account must be clearly stated on the face of each check. Also, it is important that the account be opened at an institution which returns the canceled checks each month. The bills and expenses which a particular protected person incurs will vary according to the circumstances. If your protected person lives in his own home, there will be utility and other bills associated with home ownership. On the other hand, if the protected person resides in a nursing home, these bills may be eliminated by and included in a single monthly payment. In addition to the ordinary and necessary expenses of

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