A primer on guardianship proceedings
Before the letters of guardianship shall be issued to the appointed guardian, he shall post bond, the amount for which shall be directed by the proper court. In posting this bond, the appointed guardian allows himself to be subjected to certain undertakings.
First, within three months from such posting, he shall make and return to the court a true and complete inventory of the ward’s estate, which properties shall come to his possession, or knowledge of any other person for him.
Second, he shall faithfully execute the duties of his trust, to manage and dispose of the estate according to the Rules of Court for the ward’s best interests, and to provide for his proper care, custody and education.
Third, he shall render a true and just account of all the estate of the ward in his hands, and all of the proceeds or interest derived, as well as settle his accounts upon the expiry of his trust.
Finally, he shall perform the duties as directed by the court.
Whenever it is deemed necessary, the court may require a new bond to be given by the guardian, and may discharge the sureties on the old bond from further liability, after due notice to interested persons, when no injury can result therefrom to those interested in the estate.
The guardian may file before the proper court a petition for leave to sell or encumber his ward’s estate when: (a) the income of the estate is insufficient to maintain the ward and his family, or to maintain and the educate the ward, if a minor; or (b) it appears that it is for the benefit of the ward that his real estate or part of it be sold, mortgaged or otherwise encumbered and the proceeds be put out at interest, or invested in some productive security, or in the improvement or security or other real estate of the ward.
If it would seem probable that such sale or encumbrance is necessary, or would be beneficial to the ward, the court shall issue an order directing the next of kin of the ward, and all persons interested in the estate, to show cause why the petition should not be granted.
Nevertheless, if the petition had merit, the court shall order the sale or encumbrance of all or part of the ward’s estate, and that the proceeds be expended for the maintenance of the ward and his family, or the education of the ward, or for the putting of the same interest, or the investment of the same, as the circumstances may require.
Likewise, this order shall specify the causes for the sale or encumbrance being necessary or beneficial, and may direct that the estate ordered sold be disposed of at either public or private sale, subject to such conditions as to the time and manner of payment and security where a part of the payment is deferred as in the discretion of the court deemed most beneficial to the ward. This order shall only continue in force for one year from its issuance, at most, with or without the sale or encumbrance being conducted.
The court may authorize and require the guardian to invest the proceeds of sales or encumbrances, and any other of his ward’s money in his hands, in real estate or otherwise, as shall be for the best interest of all concerned, and may make such other orders for the management, investment, and disposition of the estate and effects, as circumstances may require.
Besides being authorized to file the petition for the sale or encumbrance of the ward’s estate, a guardian may be authorized over his care and custody, and the management of his estate, or such management thereof, as the case may be. The guardian of the estate of a nonresident shall only manage those properties in the Philippines.
In any case, every guardian must pay the ward’s just debts out of his personal estate and the income of his real estate, if sufficient, and from the proceeds of the sale or encumbrance of the real estate, upon obtaining the earlier described court order.
Moreover, a guardian must manage his ward’s estate frugally and without waste, and apply the income and profits, so far as may be necessary, to the comfortable and suitable maintenance of the ward and his family, if there be any. If such income and profits were insufficient for this purpose, then the guardian may sell or encumber the real estate, again upon proper court order, and apply to such of the proceeds as may be necessary to such maintenance.
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