14-5312. General powers and duties of guardian

A. A guardian of an incapacitated person has the same powers, rights and duties respecting the guardian's ward that a parent has respecting the parent's unemancipated minor child, except that a guardian is not liable to third persons for acts of the ward solely by reason of the guardianship. In particular, and without qualifying the foregoing, a guardian has the following powers and duties, except as modified by order of the court:

1. To the extent that it is consistent with the terms of any order by a court of competent jurisdiction relating to detention or commitment of the ward, the guardian is entitled to custody of the person of the ward and may establish the ward's place of abode within or without this state.

2. If entitled to custody of the ward the guardian shall make provision for the care, comfort and maintenance of the ward and, whenever appropriate, arrange for the ward's training and education. Without regard to custodial rights of the ward's person, the guardian shall take reasonable care of the ward's clothing, furniture, vehicles and other personal effects and commence protective proceedings if other property of the ward is in need of protection.

3. A guardian may give any consents or approvals that may be necessary to enable the ward to receive medical or other professional care, counsel, treatment or service.

4. If no conservator for the estate of the ward has been appointed, the guardian may:

(a) Institute proceedings to compel any person under a duty to support the ward or to pay sums for the welfare of the ward to perform such person's duty.

(b) Receive money and tangible property deliverable to the ward and apply the money and property for support, care and education of the ward, but the guardian may not use funds from his ward's estate for room and board the guardian or the guardian's spouse, parent or child has furnished the ward unless a charge for the service is approved by order of the court made upon notice to at least one of the next of kin of the ward, if notice is possible. He must exercise care to conserve any excess for the ward's needs.

5. A guardian is required to report the condition of the ward and of the estate that has been subject to the guardian's possession or control, as required by the court or court rule.

6. If a conservator has been appointed, all of the ward's estate received by the guardian in excess of those funds expended to meet current expenses for support, care and education of the ward shall be paid to the conservator for management as provided in this chapter and the guardian must account to the conservator for funds expended.

7. If appropriate, a guardian shall encourage the ward to develop maximum self-reliance and independence and shall actively work toward limiting or terminating the guardianship and seeking alternatives to guardianship.

8. A guardian shall find the most appropriate and least restrictive setting for the ward consistent with the ward's needs, capabilities and financial ability.

9. A guardian shall make reasonable efforts to secure appropriate medical and psychological care and social services for the ward.

10. A guardian shall make reasonable efforts to secure appropriate training, education and social and vocational opportunities for his ward in order to maximize the ward's potential for independence.

11. In making decisions concerning his ward, a guardian shall take into consideration the ward's values and wishes.

12. The guardian is authorized to act pursuant to title 36, chapter 32.

13. The guardian of an incapacitated adult who has a developmental disability as defined in section 36-551 shall seek services that are in the best interest of the ward, taking into consideration:

(a) The ward's age.

(b) The degree or type of developmental disability.

(c) The presence of other disabling conditions.

(d) The guardian's ability to provide the maximum opportunity to develop the ward's maximum potential, to provide a minimally structured residential program and environment for the ward and to provide a safe, secure, and dependable residential and program environment.

(e) The particular desires of the individual.

B. Any guardian of a ward for whom a conservator also has been appointed shall control the custody and care of the ward and is entitled to receive reasonable sums for the guardian's services and for room and board furnished to the ward as agreed upon between the guardian and the conservator if the amounts agreed upon are reasonable under the circumstances. The guardian may request the conservator to expend the ward's estate by payment to third persons or institutions for the ward's care and maintenance.