Children Laws

Mississippi Guardianship Law

Mississippi Guardianship Law

 
Quick Guide to Guardianships in MS
 
 
Mississippi Guardianship
 
 
Most laws concerning Mississippi guardianship are located in Chapter 13 of the state’s revised code.  For a complete listing of all Mississippi guardianship laws, visit the searchable code under the state’s judiciary.  
 
 
If you are thinking about becoming certified for Mississippi guardianships, you should be fully aware of all state law, and you’ll usually want to talk with a lawyer to understand your complete rights and responsibilities as a guardian.  
 
 
Eligibility Factors for Mississippi Guardianships
 
 
Any U.S. citizen in the state of Mississippi can qualify for MS guardianship except those that are mentally incompetent or determined unsuitable by the court.  A person usually has to be a state citizen for MS guardianship, but a court will consider electing a nonresident if the action meets the best interests of the ward  
 
 
If the Mississippi guardianship involves a minor child, immediate preference is usually given to the parent unless the court appoints another person who is more qualified for the MS guardianship.  If there has been evidence of abuse or neglect from either parent within a home, preference will usually be given for another MS guardianship.    
 
 
Additionally, a bank, trust company, or even private nonprofit corporations (in some cases) can act as the guardian of the estate.  Also, a guardian ad litem may help within a court proceeding to help the ward through the trial process (such as a lawyer helping a child within a child custody hearing).  
 
 
What are Specific Responsibilities within a MS Guardianship?
 
 
Mississippi guardianships require all of the following duties unless the type of MS guardianship is limited or instituted for the estate of the ward: 
 
 
providing care, comfort, and maintenance for the ward—sometimes including training and education 
 
 
the maintenance and care of the ward’s clothing, furniture, vehicle, and other personal property
 
 
helping the ward receive necessary medical treatment
 
 
helping the ward to become independent 
 
 
help the ward receive professional care, counseling, treatment, or any other related service
 
 
The court may also determine that the Mississippi guardianship requires the following responsibilities in some cases: 
 
 
changing the ward’s residence at request if the next living arrangement assists the ward more than the last living arrangement 
 
 
arranging for elected surgery or any other medical procedure 
 
 
consent for withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining procedures
 
 
The Mississippi guardianship may require the above responsibilities permanently if the ward is incapacitated for the rest of their life.  If the court awards temporary Mississippi guardianships, the responsibilities will end, for example, when the child turns 18.  
 
 
How do I file for a Mississippi Guardianships?
 
 
In order to file for Mississippi guardianships, you’ll have to file a petition with the local court, undergo investigation from the court, testify in front of the court, and eventually be approved if a judge determines the guardianship is in the best interests of the ward.  In order to see if you qualify for Mississippi guardianship rights, you’ll have to contact your local county court and obtain information about filing a petition.  
 
 

Iowa Guardianship Law

Iowa Guardianship Law

 
 
Quick Guide to Iowa Guardianships
 
 
Iowa Guardianship
 
 
Most laws concerning Iowa guardianships are located in Iowa Code Chapter 633.557.  For a complete listing of all Iowa guardianship laws, visit the updated searchable code under the Iowa Legislature.  
 
 
The majority of the information about an IA guardianship within this article is found under the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC).  For information to expand on this article.
 
 
Eligibility Factors for IA Guardianship
 
 
Any U.S. citizen in the state of Iowa can qualify for an IA guardianship except those that are mentally incompetent or determined unsuitable by the court.  A person usually has to be a citizen of Iowa, but a court will consider a nonresident if the circumstances are right.  
 
 
If the Iowa guardianship involves a minor child, immediate preference is given to the parent unless the court appoints another person who is more qualified.  Iowa Codes 633.559 and Iowa Code 633.571 discuss Iowa guardianships involving minor children.  
 
 
Additionally, a bank, trust company, or even private nonprofit corporations (in some cases) can act as the guardian of the estate.  Nonprofit regulations are covered in Iowa Code 633.63-64.  
 
 
What Iowa Guardianships are issued by the Court?
 
 
A court will establish an Iowa guardianship in three different ways:  
 
 
Limited Guardianship
 
 
The court will determine if a limited IA guardianship is necessary and appropriate while first establishing the guardianship, making modifications, or terminating the responsibilities all together.  The limited functions of such an Iowa guardianship are covered in Iowa Code 633.635.  
 
 
Stand-by Guardianship
 
 
These Iowa guardianships are rare.  They can only occur in certain circumstances, and a court must establish this type of IA guardianship as well.  
 
 
Temporary Guardianship
 
 
This type of IA guardianship is covered under Iowa Code 633.558 and only lasts for a specific period of time (e.g. When a minor turns 18).  
 
 
What are Specific Responsibilities of a Guardian?
 
 
Iowa guardianships require all of the following duties: 
 
 
providing care, comfort, and maintenance for the ward—sometimes including training and education 
 
 
the maintenance and care of the ward’s clothing, furniture, vehicle, and other personal property
 
 
helping the ward receive necessary medical treatment
 
 
helping the ward to become independent 
 
 
help the ward receive professional care, counseling, treatment, or any other related service
 
 
The court may also determine that the Iowa guardianship requires the following responsibilities in some cases: 
 
 
changing the ward’s residence at request if the next living arrangement restrict the ward’s liberties more 
 
 
arranging for elected surgery or any other medical procedure 
 
 
consent for withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining procedures
 
 
How do I file for an Iowa Guardianship?
 
 
In order to file for Iowa guardianships, you’ll have to file a petition with the local court, undergo investigation from the court, testify in front of the court, and eventually be approved if a judge determines the guardianships is in the best interests of the ward.  In order to find contact information and more valuable information about your local county court, call the ISAC at (515) 244-7181. 
 
 

Vermont Guardianship Law

Vermont Guardianship Law

 
 
A brief guide to Vermont guardianship
 
 
When a person's financial health is managed by another person, that means they are being helped by a custodian. In contrast, Vermont guardianships appoint people to look after the physical and mental well-being of another person who requires assistance. If this kind of VT guardianship involves an adult, there are four categories under which you may apply for this condition. A Vermont guardianship may be granted for someone who is:
 
 
• A mentally disabled adult under the age of 60
 
 
• A mentally disabled adult age 60 or older
 
 
• An adult with a developmental disability such as autism
 
 
• Someone who is voluntarily seeking someone to take on a Vermont guardianship to aid them
 
 
Regardless of the type of VT guardianship you are filing for, the process will be roughly the same in every instance. Vermont guardianship petitions will be filed with your local family court or the state attorney. A date will then be scheduled for a hearing to consider your application. Prior to Vermont guardianships hearings, the person in need of care will be examined by a medical professional to have their disabilities and needs examined. A judge will use this report as the basis of any decision to be made regarding a VT guardianship.
 
 
During hearings regarding Vermont guardianships, the person in need of care will be represented by an "attorney ad litem." It is this lawyer's job to ensure that any person appointed to look after their client has the time and patience necessary to care for a person in need of a great deal of assistance. In granting a Vermont guardianship, a judge may deem it to be on a "limited" basis and detail the rights of the person being cared for.
 
 
A year after being granted this VT guardianship, you will be required to submit a report to the court. In this document, you will detail any progress and developments made by the person under your care during your Vermont guardianship. The person being cared for may have their need for this type of aid reviewed at any time. This means that once appointed, Vermont guardianships do not automatically extend indefinitely.
 
 
In such cases, any person named in a living will as preferred for this position in case of injury or illness will be most likely to receive the person. However, a spouse, adult child or relative with whom the disabled person has lived for at least 6 months prior to any incident may also be considered for Vermont guardianships. 
 
 
Receiving a VT guardianship does not apply only to a person taking care of another adult. Adults in care of their own minor children are also acting in the role of a Vermont guardianship. At some point, you may have your right to this position removed by child protective services. Adults who have been appointed to Vermont guardianships of adopted children may choose to give up their status at any time. To ensure the best interests of minor children are looked after at all times, think carefully before taking on a VT guardianship.
 
 

North Dakota Guardianship Law

North Dakota Guardianship Law

 
 
A brief guide to North Dakota guardianship
 
 
Children who have no one to care for them, as well as mentally or physically incapacitated adults, require care from responsible adults. While custodians look after such people's finances, North Dakota guardianships are appointed to ensure that their physical and mental wellbeing is also being looked after. This position entails a great deal of responsibility and is not to be undertaken lightly. Additionally, obtaining a North Dakota guardianship is a lengthy process with many steps.
 
 
It is advisable to create a living will documenting your wishes on this subject. A person who has been named in this document as your preferred choice for a North Dakota guardianship in case of injury will be given preference when this position is being considered. If no living will has been created, the court system will consider several alternatives. An adult child, parent or relative with whom a person has lived for at least six months prior to any accident is also eligible for North Dakota guardianships. Parents who are relinquishing custody of their child will have their wishes regarding this position given priority.
 
 
Regardless of the person who is seeking a North Dakota guardianship, they must pursue this position through the court system. The legal system will begin considering the situation when a petition is filed by the person who wishes to be appointed. A doctor will examine the person who requires care from someone appointed to a North Dakota guardianship and issue a report detailing their needs. Before hearing any case, a judge will review this document and make it the foundation of their decision.
 
 
In court, the person needing care will be represented by an "attorney ad litem." This lawyer's job will be to ensure that any North Dakota guardianships which are appointed are in their client's best interests. Among other things, this means that a person appointed to this position must be patient and capable of devoting as much time and energy as necessary to their ward's needs. In cases where North Dakota guardianships are being considered for a child, it is vital that any person who is appointed be on good terms with the minor and able to communicate with them.
 
 
Should you be appointed to this position, you have the right to receive an inventory from your ward's custodian of all their financial and property resources. People who are appointed to North Dakota guardianships may also take on this role if they feel they are capable of executing both positions. You will be required to submit regular reports to the court regarding any developments in the health of the person in your care.
 
 
Successfully being appointed to a North Dakota guardianship will involve many interactions with the legal system. In addition, it may require a significant financial commitment on your part. When seeking North Dakota guardianships, it is advisable to consult with a lawyer who can help you to understand what kind of timeline you can expect from the law's handling of your case.
 
 

Texas Guardianship Law

Texas Guardianship Law

 
A Quick Guide to Texas Guardianship 
 
 
Texas Guardianships and the Law
 
 
Texas guardianship is offered to a court-administered person in order to take care of a minor or incapacitated person or their property.  The incapacitated person is referred to as the ward, and there are two different kinds of Texas guardianship.  
 
 
Under Texas law, a person who takes care of a minor or other person is called the guardian of the person and person who takes care of property is call the guardian of the estate.  In order to maintain Texas guardianships, the minor must be under the age of 18, must not be married, or has not had their minor status or disability removed by the court.  
 
 
In order to take care of an adult under Texas guardianship laws, the person must have a physical or mental condition that prohibits or greatly restricts them from providing food, clothing, and shelter for themselves.  If you need more information on Texas guardianship, you can find more information about who will qualify for guardianship and the procedure in TX.  
 
 
Who will be appointed guardian in Texas?
 
 
Texas guardianships are provided to people in a top-down approach because the court will give preference to family before anyone else.  If the ward is a minor, the court will guardianship in the following order: 
 
 
1. parents
 
 
2. a person the last surviving parent designates for guardianship 
 
 
3. the nearest ascendant to the child after the parents (usually grandparents or aunts and uncles) 
 
 
4. kin
 
 
5. a non-relative that the court determines will satisfy as an appropriate guardian 
 
 
If the ward is an adult, Texas guardianship will be granted in the following order: 
 
 
 
1. the person designated by the ward prior to the incapacity to have Texas guardianship 
 
 
2. the ward’s spouse
 
 
3. next of kin 
 
 
4. a non-relative 
 
 
If more than one person qualifies for Texas guardianships, the court will decide who meets the most qualifications.  
 
 
The Texas Guardianship Process
 
 
The state is very strict when determining Texas guardianships.  The state will usually recommend that a party hire a family law attorney in order to help them with the Texas guardianship process because it is often very complicated. 
 
 
Some general steps are listed below, and you should ask a lawyer for any other steps you should take: 
 
 
1. The incapacity of the person must be proved unless the part is a minor.  In order to prove incapacity, the court must usually obtain certificate form a doctor who examined the person.  
 
 
2. After incapacity is determined, Texas guardianships are then started with the filing of a certificate that can be both long and detailed.  You should always have a lawyer help with the certificate, and this form must usually be filled out 120 days after the application for guardianship was filed.  
 
 
3. After the certificate has been submitted, an attorney ad litem will be assigned to the incapacitated person in order to protect their civil rights and establish specific rights under the Texas guardianship.  
 
 
4. If Texas guardianships are approved, Letters of Guardianship are issued on the ward and will expire in 16 months unless the guardian renews the letters.  
 
 

Michigan Guardianship Law

Michigan Guardianship Law

 
 
Michigan Guardianship Law and Procedure 
 
 
Michigan Guardianship Law
 
 
General Michigan guardianships are described under the MI Constitution in section 700.5204.  The statutes states:
 
 
“A person interested in the welfare of a minor, or a minor if 14 years of age or older, may petition for the appointment of a guardian of the minor.  The court may order the Department of Human Services or a court employee or agent of the court to conduct an investigation of the proposed guardianship and file a written report of the investigation.”
 
 
Of course, Michigan guardianship is offered for the protection and guidance of an estate if the ward is older, but for the sake of convenience, this article will mainly cover law and procedure for the appointment of a guardian for a minor.  For more information, visit the link
 
 
Establishing Michigan Guardianships
 
 
The state will normally give preference to relatives, a parent, or friends of the Department of Human Services caseworkers when parental rights have been terminated by the court or the parent allows the minor to live with another person voluntarily.  
 
 
The court never allows a person or family with a criminal background to have guardianship rights, and individuals who show a weak financial history will not be considered either.  However, in order for a qualified person or family to file for Michigan guardianship, they must take a variety of steps.  
 
 
Filing the Petition
 
 
A prospective guardian must first file a petition to the Department of Human Services describing why they believe they are the best guardian for the child, financial information and more.  After the petition is filed, the court may grant temporary guardianship to a qualified individual for more than 60 days before the court hearing.  
 
 
In this waiting period, a social services worker will conduct a home study that will look into the best interests of the minor under Section 15.12 of the Michigan Child Welfare Act.  Also, the individual or family seeking Michigan guardianships needs to establish a placement plan.  The court will review this plan to establish the Michigan guardianship, and factors of such a document can be found under 15.5.2 of the MI Child Welfare Act.  
 
 
Court Review
 
 
During court reviews of Michigan guardianships, the court will examine the placement plan, any court structured plans, and more.  Ultimately, the court wants to determine if the individual seeking a Michigan guardianship can provide for the minor for an extended period of time and whether the placement is best for the child.  
 
 
If Michigan guardianships are approved by the court, the minor will live with the guardian for any period of time depending on whether the guardianship is temporary or permanent.  
 
 
Termination of the Michigan Guardianship
 
 
Procedures and determinations for the termination of Michigan guardianships are described in Section 15.10 of the Michigan Child Welfare Act.  Some examples include the parents again qualifying for custodial rights with approval of the court, or the child turning 18 and having the right to make decisions on their own.  
 
 

Connecticut Guardianship Law

Connecticut Guardianship Law

 
 
Guide to Connecticut Guardianship Laws
 
 
When a resident of Connecticut is unable to make decisions for themselves, CT guardianship laws allow a person or non-profit organization to make those decisions as the person's legal guardian.  This article will discuss the types of Connecticut guardianship arrangements that are available for guardianship of children and the disabled.  For more information or for specific advice about your legal situation, you may want to contact a CT guardianship attorney who can advise you further.
 
 
Connecticut Guardianship For Children
 
 
In most situations, a child's parent carries all decisionmaking authority for the child.  However, in some cases, a parent is unavailable or deceased, and the child must have a guardian appointed according to CT guardianship law.  If a parent is able to nominate a guardian, the court will typically give this nomination a great deal of weight.  A child's preferences may also be taken into account if they are old enough to make a reasonable choice about their Connecticut guardianship situation.
 
 
In some situations, CT guardianship is needed for a child due to a parent's disability or terminal illness.  In these cases, a type of Connecticut guardianship called standby guardianship is allowed.  When a standby guardian is approved, it makes the transition from parent to guardian substantially easier and can give a terminally ill parent peace of mind.
 
 
Connecticut Guardianship of the Person
 
 
Disabled people who are unable to make any personal care decisions may qualify for a type of CT guardianship called guardianship of the person.  If someone is appointed for this Connecticut guardianship arrangement, they will have the ability to make all day to day decisions for the disabled person, including basic personal care choices as well as bigger decisions about education, religion, and healthcare.
 
 
CT guardianship of the person is only awarded in cases where the disabled person is unable to care for him or herself or make any reasonable decisions about care.  It is generally considered a last resort for the disabled.  Connecticut guardianship may be obtained in these cases by either an individual or by a not for profit organization (either public or private).
 
 
Connecticut Guardianship of the Estate
 
 
If a person is capable of making some decisions about their personal care, but cannot be reasonably entrusted to handle their own finances, CT guardianship laws allow people to seek a different type of guardianship arrangement.  A Connecticut guardianship of the estate gives a guardian responsibilities for handling the estate and finances of a disabled person.  This type of CT guardianship is common when an elderly person is still living independently or in a nursing home, but is no longer capable of making good financial decisions due to dementia or advanced age.
 
 
Limited Connecticut Guardianship
 
 
In some cases, a person's disability may not require total CT guardianship over their estate or their person.  In these situations, limited guardianship may be awarded.  This is the most flexible type of Connecticut guardianship, and the responsibilities of a limited guardian will be clearly delineated by the court system at the time when guardianship is awarded.
 
 

West Virginia Guardianship Law

West Virginia Guardianship Law

 
 
Quick Guide to WV Guardianship
 
 
West Virginia Guardianship Laws
 
 
The “Guardianship and Conservatorship Act” is located in Chapter 44A of the state’s revised statutes.  For a link to all statutes on West Virginia guardianships, visit the following link.
 
 
The majority of information in this article about WV guardianship is referenced from the following document under the KDC Income Management Organization (formerly the Appalachian Benefits Assistance Corporation): 
 
 
Eligibility Factors for West Virginia Guardianships
 
 
According to state law, any adult may qualify for a West Virginia guardianship or conservatorship—or even both.  The court will investigate a person’s criminal background, financial history, former relationship with the ward (if any), and overall responsibility before considering a WV guardianship.  
 
 
A court will always prefer a family member(s), friend, or other person formerly associated with the ward before others for West Virginia guardianships.  
 
 
Duties within a West Virginia Guardianship
 
 
A court will always hear testimony from the ward before setting guidelines within the WV guardianship.  Additionally, apart from simply qualifying for the West Virginia guardianship, a guardian must complete the following duties: 
 
 
1. Mandatory Training for West Virginia Guardianships- after a person qualifies for WV guardianship, they must complete an educational class and training require by the court within 30 days of being approved.  Once the training for the West Virginia guardianship is completed, the guardian must submit an affidavit to the court. 
 
 
2. Order of Appointment- you must take an oath to fulfill all duties within West Virginia guardianships, and a copy of the order must be sent to the ward and all people who received a copy of the petition within 14 days of appointment.  
 
 
3. Annual Reports- most West Virginia guardianships require the guardian to file an annual report with the court.  The reports for West Virginia guardianships usually include the following:
 
 
description of the current health of the ward and the following;
 
living arrangements within the West Virginia guardianship
 
medical, educational, vocational, and other services provided to the ward
 
summary of your visits during the WV guardianship 
 
statement of whether you agree with the current plan
 
the need for extended WV guardianship
 
other information the court may find useful
 
the compensation you requested for the West Virginia guardianship, and other expenses you incurred
 
 
How do I file for a West Virginia Guardianships?
 
 
In order to petition for West Virginia guardianships, you’ll have to file a petition with your circuit court, undergo investigation from the court, testify in front of the court, and eventually be approved if a judge determines the WV guardianship is in the best interests of the ward.  For a list of West Virginia courts, click on the link
 
 
West Virginia guardianships also give the respondent certain rights after the petition has been filed.  The respondent must be notified of the place and time of the hearing for the West Virginia guardianship, be represented by legal counsel, be present at all proceedings except if they have a medical exception.  The respondent also has a right to trial by jury and may even cross examine witnesses.  
 
 

Pennsylvania Guardianship Law

Pennsylvania Guardianship Law

 
 
Guide to Pennsylvania Guardianship
 
 
If you are considering PA guardianship for a child or a disabled adult, you may be wondering what you can expect from the family court system.  Pennsylvania guardianship is a major commitment for any person, and should not be taken lightly.  This guide will explain some of the reasons that a child or disabled adult may need guardianship, and the different types of guardian arrangements available under PA guardianship law.
 
 
Guardianship of Minors
 
 
In most cases, a child's legal guardian is his or her parent, and Pennsylvania guardianship laws do not allow any court hearings to create this legal relationship.  However, in some cases, a parent is not available to take care of a child.  This may be due to the death of a parent in some cases, or a severely debilitating illness.  Children may also need a guardian appointed according to PA guardianship laws if their custodial parent is incarcerated for a long time.
 
 
In cases where a parent is able to suggest a guardian to the court, the parent's choice will be weighted heavily according to Pennsylvania guardianship laws.  Typically a parent's preferred guardian will only be declined by a judge if the person chosen is unwilling or unable to accept the responsibilities of PA guardianship.  Pennsylvania guardianship also allows a parent to specify a stand-by guardian for a child if they believe they may soon be incapacitated.
 
 
Guardianship of the Person
 
 
Disabled people may also be subject to PA guardianship laws.  If a disabled person is unable to care for themselves or make basic personal decisions, the court may appoint a guardian of the person.  This is a type of Pennsylvania guardianship that gives the guardian responsibility for making all day to day decisions about a disabled person's life.
 
 
PA guardianship laws specify a number of responsibilities for a guardian of the person, but there are a few limitations to what a guardian of the person can do.  For instance, Pennsylvania guardianship laws do not allow a guardian to prohibit a marriage or consent to a divorce, or to consent to experimental medical procedures.
 
 
Guardianship of the Estate
 
 
If a disabled person is able to make some personal decisions but cannot reasonably be expected to make decisions about financial issues, a guardian of the state may be appointed according to PA guardianship laws.  Many elderly people have this sort of Pennsylvania guardianship relationship established when dementia makes them incapable of handling their own finances.
 
 
Limited Guardianship
 
 
If a disabled person is able to make some decisions but not others, the court may list specific PA guardianship responsibilities that a limited guardian is assigned to be responsible for.  Limited Pennsylvania guardianship can take many forms, and largely depends on the exact abilities of the person who needs to have a guardian appointed by the court.  When this kind of PA guardianship is assigned, the court will specify exactly what duties and what portion of the disabled person's assets are controlled by the limited guardian.
 
 

New York Guardianship Law

New York Guardianship Law

 
 
Guide to New York Legal Guardianship Law
 
 
When a person is unable to care for themselves, New York courts may allow a legal guardian to be appointed who will be responsible for that person.  This guide will discuss the way that New York guardianship law works, including eligibility guidelines for legal guardianship and the types of guardianship arrangements permissible under the law.
 
 
Who Needs Legal Guardians?
 
 
In general, anyone who is unable to care for themselves may need a legal guardian appointed by the state according to NY legal guardianship law.  All minor children must be assigned a legal guardian if a parent is unavailable to care for them, according to New York guardianship law, because children are presumed to be unable to have legal responsibility for themselves.  Children may need a guardian appointed under New York legal guardianship law due to the death, imprisonment, or deportation of a parent, or if a parent no longer has the capacity to care for their child.
 
 
Increasingly, old people suffering from mental issues, as well as people of all ages with severe mental and physical handicaps, are also given guardianship arrangements due to NY legal guardianship law.  Assigning a legal guardian in these cases can help ensure that an older or disabled person's financial, legal, and personal decisions are made rationally.  
 
 
Who Determines Legal Guardianship?
 
 
According to New York legal guardianship law, only family court judges are allowed to make final determinations on guardianship.  Parents' wishes are taken into account by NY legal guardianship law, and judges will generally work to make a parent's preferred guardianship arrangement happen.  If a judge rules that a guardian proposed by a parent is unsuitable, however, New York legal guardianship law allows the judge to choose someone else instead.
 
 
Who is Eligible to be a Legal Guardian?
 
 
NY legal guardianship law allows nearly anyone to be a child's guardian as long as it can be shown that the arrangement will be in the best interest of the child.  There are no hard age limits or restrictions on exactly who may be a child's legal guardian according to New York legal guardianship law.  Even people with criminal convictions may serve as a legal guardian, but NY legal guardianship law is likely to remove from consideration anyone who has been convicted of offenses against children.
 
 
Types of Legal Guardianship
 
 
New York legal guardianship law allows for four types of legal guardianship, as well as “backup guardianship” for a person to take over the guardianship arrangement if the initial guardianship arrangement doesn't work out.  A guardian of the person is someone given total control over a person's health, education, and welfare decisions according to NY legal guardianship law.  A guardian of the property is responsible only for someone's money, while a guardian ad litem is someone who acts in a child's best interests in legal proceedings.  The final kind of guardianship under New York legal guardianship law is called a stand-by guardian, who makes decisions only if the parent becomes incapacitated (for instance, a terminally ill parent may want a stand-by guardian arrangement to minimize the difficulty of a child's care transitioning to a guardian).