What is a Guardianship?
There are two types of guardianship: (1) guardianship of the person and (2) guardianship of the estate.
Guardianship of the Person
When a minor child’s parents are unable or unwilling to properly care for a child, an adult may seek to become the child’s legal guardian (like a surrogate parent) which requires appointment by the court. The guardian is required to assume important duties and obligations. For example, the guardian:
- Has the care, custody, and control of the child
- Is responsible for providing food, clothing, shelter, education, and all medical and dental needs of the child
- Must provide for the child’s safety, protection, physical growth, and emotional growth
A guardian has legal and physical custody of the child and is responsible for all decisions related to the child. The child’s parents can no longer make decisions for the child while there is a guardianship. The parents’ rights are suspended – not terminated – as long as a guardian is appointed for a minor. Even when the child has a guardian, the parents are still obligated to financially support the child, and the guardian may take action to obtain child support.
Guardianship of the Estate
A guardianship of the estate is an arrangement in which an adult is given legal authority over a minor child’s assets. This can become necessary when the child has substantial assets but is too young (or otherwise unable) to manage those assets appropriately.
When Does A Guardianship End?
A guardianship automatically ends when the child reaches the age of 18, is adopted, marries, is emancipated by court order, enters into active military duty, or dies. If none of these events has occurred, the child, a parent, or the guardian may petition the court to terminate the guardianship. However, it must be shown that the guardianship is no longer necessary or that termination of the guardianship is in the child’s best interest.
For more information about Guardianships, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (707) 900-4500 today.
The ideas discussed in this article are for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The reader should consult with an attorney to determine what is in the reader’s own best interest.
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