Guardianship is when a court orders someone other than the child’s parent to have custody of the child, or manage the child’s property, or both. If you are appointed as the legal guardian of a child, you will have the authority and obligation to make decisions affecting the care, education, medical treatment and supervision of the child. Keleti+Moradian LLP can help you undertake this awesome and exciting journey.
A guardianship of is established because a child is living with an adult who is not the child’s parent, and the adult needs a court order to make decisions on behalf of the child. A guardianship may be needed because: the child has no living parent; or the parent(s) cannot take care of the child for such reasons as having a serious physical or mental illness, being in the military and serving far from home, serving a sentence in jail or prison, having a drug or alcohol abuse problem, or away from home undergoing rehab, or having a history of being abusive.
Types of Guardianships
In California, there are two types of guardianships: Person and Estate
- Guardianship of a Person
When a court appoints you as a guardian of a person, usually a minor child, you will have the same responsibilities to care for the child as the legal parent. You will have full legal and physical custody of the child and will make all the decisions about the physical care of the child. You will be responsible for the child’s care, shelter, supervision, food, clothing, safety, protection, physical and emotional growth, medical and dental care, education and general well-being.
- Guardianship of an Estate
When a court appoints you as a guardian of an estate, you will be responsible for managing a child’s income, finances, investments, or other properties until the child reaches the age of majority, which in California is 18 years old. A child may need you to be a guardian of the estate if he or she inherits money or assets in which the parents or are absent or dead. Usually, a court will appoint a surviving parent to be the guardian of the child’s estate. This type of guardianship may be necessary if the minor’s real and personal property assets total more than $5,000.