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Protecting yourself as a guardian often means keeping everything

When a Palm Beach resident realizes that a loved one may no longer be able to make decisions for him or herself, that person may step up to help. From the moment he or she does that, it may be a good idea to begin creating a paper trail. Once an individual officially becomes a guardian for a loved one, keeping good records is essential.

Because a guardian takes over the decision making for another person, called the ward, the courts take these responsibilities seriously. A Palm Beach resident will want to keep every receipt, piece of paper and document pertaining to the guardianship. It may seem like overkill to do so, but if anyone should question the trustworthiness or actions of the guardian, any action taken on behalf of the incapacitated person can be substantiated.

The documentation kept could range from receipts for groceries or a computer to statements from investment accounts. If the assets include real estate, anything from tax statements to air conditioner repair and anything in between probably comes with some sort of paperwork that a guardian may need to keep. The court may require periodic reports from the guardian as well. Being able to provide documentation for support could be a lifesaver.

Being a guardian comes with immense responsibilities and is about protecting the ward. However, that does not preclude someone from taking steps to protect him or herself as well. Other family members, the courts or anyone else may question whether a person is doing what is best for the ward, and having a paper trail to back up the decisions made could make all the difference.

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