Individuals who receive guardianship services maintain a level of independence and self-determination appropriate to their functional capacity, and are at minimized risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
Note:The terminology used may vary; however, any organization court-ordered to manage an individual’s finances is expected to meet the standards outlined in this section. That includes guardians of the destitute who may only be responsible for managing the individual’s public benefits. Guardian of the estate may also be responsible for managing the individual’s stocks and bonds, paying bills, income and property taxes, real estate, insurance, and maintaining eligibility for public benefits.
Examples: This may include communication within the organization or with outside providers. Some organizations have successfully implemented a checklist system, or similar protocol, for ensuring everyone involved with a particular case is aware of decisions made or work done on behalf of the individual.
Financial information is available to the individual upon request, as appropriate to their assessed capacity to handle such information and in accordance with the court order.
The individual’s income is used to meet his or her identified needs.
legal or other professional fees, with court approval;
pre-paid burial arrangements;
social and recreational needs; and
The organization has procedures governing the management of funds that protect the assets of individuals, including:
an accounting system that accurately tracks all transactions;
authorization and processing of disbursements;
regular, internal audit of client accounts;
an external audit of client accounts conducted at least once every three years;
segregation of duties regarding cash disbursements;
tracking system to notify guardians of key due dates;
separate accounts for each service recipient; and
managing funds in accordance with the Prudent Investor Rule.
Money can be pooled into one bank account when accounting software has the capacity to manage each account separately, provide adequate documentation of income and expenditures, protect the holdings of each individual, and complies with all applicable contractual obligations.
Examples: Key due dates can include billing due dates, tax deadlines, legal notifications, contractual deadlines or expirations, expiration dates for public benefits; and due dates for submitting accounting reports to regulatory bodies and oversight entities, including the court.
Examples: Authorities that may require regular accounting reports include the courts, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Social Security Administration when the guardian has been appointed by the Social Security Administration to serve as a representative payee who manages the individual's Social Security payments.