Guardianship is something most people have heard of, but few people actually understand. In most cases, it involves the appointment of an adult who is not the parent of a child to take over the care of that child. In California, this is a different legal process than for the conservatorship of an adult who cannot make decisions for themselves and needs someone to take over.
There are two kinds of legal guardians of children in California. In general, a guardian of the person has limited ability to make financial decisions and is responsible primarily for the actual care of the ward, which is the child. When there are significant financial decisions to be made, such as the managing of a substantial amount of money, a guardian of the estate is appointed.
This can be the same or different individuals as the guardian of the child. Because of the complexities that can be involved, if you find yourself involved in a situation where guardianship is necessary, you should consult with the guardianship attorneys of Miranda, Magden & Miranda LLP.
At its most basic, guardianship is when a court appoints someone who is not the parent of a child to take care of the child or manage the child’s property, or both. To be appointed as guardian, a person must file a petition with the court seeking the appointment, and the petition must be granted by the court. This applies to both guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate, which is often appointed to the same person.
In either case, a guardian usually is appointed when one or both parents are unable to fulfill the duties of care required of a parent, often because of incapacitations such as:
The individual appointed as the guardian of the child has all of the responsibilities for the care of the ward as a parent would, including physical well-being, medical care, shelter, and more. The guardian of the person has legal and physical custody of the child, makes decisions about the care of the child, and essentially acts as a parent for the ward. The guardian of the person usually is a close family member or friend. A guardianship of the estate is established by the court to manage the ward’s income, property, and other financial matters.
If you find yourself facing a situation in which it appears that a child might require a guardian for physical or financial oversight, you should talk to an experienced Monterey County guardianship attorney. Call the attorneys of Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP. They can provide the assistance that you need to deal with your legal matter.
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