Duties of an Article 81 Guardian

If an Article 81 guardian is appointed, the judge will sign a form called an Order and Judgment. The Order and Judgement will explain, in detail, the duties and responsibilities of the Article 81 guardian. However, once appointed, before the Article 81 guardian can officially complete their duties, they must first finish a process called qualification. The qualification process requires the Article 81 guardian to complete the following steps:

  1. Get a bond, if the judge orders it. A bond is like an insurance policy protecting the incapacitated person against any errors made by the guardian. The Article 81 guardian can obtain a bond from a bonding agency. A list of bonding agencies can be found on the internet.

  2. Sign an Oath and Designation of Clerk form. The Oath and Designation of Clerk form is where the Article 81 guardian swears to fulfill the duties of a guardian. It also gives the County Clerk legal permission to receive legal documents on behalf of the guardian. It is important to have this protection in place in case the incapacitated person receives legal papers when the guardian is unavailable.

  3. File the bond and Oath Designation of Clerk form with the County Clerk. The County Clerk will then issue the guardian a Written Commission. A Written Commission, signed by the County Clerk, gives the guardian proof that they are legally authorized to carry out the responsibilities required by the Order and Judgment.

  4. Complete a guardianship training course within 90 days of appointment. Guardianship training is offered in person and on the internet. For information on training programs, see the court’s Guardian and Fiduciary Services website. Each training program will provide information on the guardian’s duties and responsibilities.

  5. File:
    • an Initial Report within 90 days of the issuance of the guardian's commission
    • an Annual Report by May 31st of each year
    • a Final Report when the incapacitated person dies or when the guardian can no longer fulfill their responsibility as guardian for some other reason

Note:The guardian training program will go over what must be included in each of these reports, where they must be filed, and who must receive copies. Lay guardians can also get assistance completing these reports by contacting the Guardian Assistance Network.

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