Guardians have ongoing and recurring obligations to meet upon being appointed. First, there are reporting requirements. There is also a second set of obligations and considerations that arise by virtue of the human condition; Guardians, of course, are not exempt from life’s vagaries that arise during the passage of time.
As years pass after the initial proceeding, upon occasion a Guardian may become incapacitated, unable to serve, or pass away. In this event, a substitute Guardian should be added in a subsequent proceeding, and a temporary guardianship appointment may be requested during the proceeding’s pendency to minimize decision-making gaps. In the alternative, if there are co-guardians in place, the second Guardian ensures that there is no gap. The Office of the Public Guardian for Elderly Adults will step in and apply as Guardian of a person 60 years or older, if there are no other relatives able or willing to serve. Another alternative is a suitable nonprofit agency.
Guardians must also file annual reports with the county Surrogate Court. The annual report provides the Court with assurance that the Guardian is meeting all obligations and serving the Ward’s best interests.