What is a Guardianship?

Guardianship occurs when an individual takes control over the financial situation and/or the living situation of an individual who cannot take care of themselves. Also known as a conservatorship, guardianship empowers an individual to pay bills, collect money, and otherwise make financial decisions on behalf of another person. It’s critical that a guardian ensure that they are operating in the individual’s best interests, which may range from paying their bills properly to investing their funds wisely. Guardianship can be temporary; guardianship of a minor will expire when the minor reaches the age of majority. Guardianship can also be permanent; guardianship of the elderly generally continues until they pass.

Guardianship is meant to protect individuals from making irresponsible decisions regarding their funds, or being preyed upon by less scrupulous individuals. But because it does convey a significant amount of power to the guardian, there are steps that need to be taken to show that the individual in question is not able to manage their own funds, and that they need help from someone else. A guardian will usually not need their own FEIN, but if you have a Trust involved, you will surely be required to obtain your Trust Tax ID Number in order to perform basic functions like dealing with bank accounts or filing federal taxes.