Guardianship is a court process in which a petitioner asks the court for legal authority to control and manage a minor’s person or estate. In California, a minor is an individual who is under 18 years of age.
In a Guardianship of the Person, the guardian assumes responsibility for the care, custody and control of a child. The guardian is responsible for providing food, shelter, clothing, education, and all the medical and dental needs of the child. The guardian must provide for the safety, protection, and physical and emotional growth of the child.
In a Guardianship of the Estate, the guardian assumes responsibility for managing a child’s money, investments and other financial assets. The guardian must collect and make an inventory of assets, keep accurate financial records, and file regular accountings with the court.
Guardianship may be necessary if a child’s parent or parents are no longer suitable to act as caregivers due to some mental incapacity, abuse or neglect.
In some cases, guardianship is necessary if a minor unexpectedly inherits money or other financial assets as a result of poor estate planning. This may occur, for example, if a minor child is named as a beneficiary of life insurance policy or retirement account.
Obtaining legal guardianship can be a rigorous and time-consuming process. At Athlon Legal, we can guide you through this process with compassion and expertise.