Record Keeping for Guardians and Conservators

It is important to keep records that show the protected person's circumstances and all financial transactions made on his or her behalf. Good records help protect you in the event that your decisions are challenged in court. Keeping good records also is essential because you must account for all events and transactions at least annually. Contemporaneous records — records prepared at the same time as an event — will help later when you prepare your reports and file tax returns

Record in a financial journal all financial transactions: money and property coming into the protected person's estate and money and property going out. If you sell property, make a note of how you determined the value as well as the sale price.

Record in a journal or diary the important events and circumstances in the protected person's life. Examples might include:

  • the dates of your visits with the protected person and the things you did;
  • activities that the protected person participated in, including classes and recreational and social events;
  • a summary of consultations that you have had with healthcare providers, caregivers, family members, facility staff and others;
  • injuries or illnesses that the protected person has suffered;
  • changes in the protected person's residence or care facility, healthcare providers and caregivers, cognitive functioning and functional capabilities, and mental and physical health; and
  • other things you think are important.

Set up files to keep legal documents, tax records, bills, receipts, correspondence and other papers related to the protected person. Organize them in a manner that makes sense to you, but even putting everything in a box labeled by year is better than nothing. You know that a particular document is there, even if you have to dig for it.

Obtain and be familiar with a copy of the protected person's advance healthcare directive, will, living will, trust and other important papers so you can understand and follow the protected person's wishes.

Keep the records about the protected person separate from your own personal and business records.

You may be personally liable if you do not keep proper records. Utah Code Section 75-5-312 and Section 75-5-417 . The court may order you to reimburse the estate if you cannot show what you did with the protected person's property, even if you know that you used it for the protected person's benefit.