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Is your choice of guardian trustworthy and eligible to serve?

When searching for a person to serve as guardian, you certainly want to choose someone that you believe is capable of handling the responsibilities that come with the territory. However, the position of guardian is at the intersection of important legal issues and very personal relationships, so it is wise to consider a number of things beyond the capabilities of a candidate.

Very practically, you should determine early on in a candidacy if a particular person has a criminal record. While many individuals who have a criminal conviction may make excellent guardians, he or she may not legally be eligible to do so. Felonies or even misdemeanors may prevent a person from legally serving as a guardian.

Even if the individual is legally eligible to serve as your guardian and is capable of performing all the relevant duties, you should make sure that he or she is a person of strong character, and one who is not prone substance abuse. A guardian holds a great deal of power over his or her ward's legal and financial affairs, so you want to make sure that any guardian you choose is trustworthy and not likely to use the ward's resources for his or her own gain. As a guardian, the temptation to do so may be great, so personal integrity is very important.

It is often easier to address these issues with the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you vet potential candidates as well walk you through the process of assigning guardianship. Professional guidance helps ensure that you cover all your bases while assigning guardianship, while keeping your rights and dignity protected.

Source: Findlaw, "Ten Things to Think About: Choosing a Guardian," accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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