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Guardianships provide minors in need with an advocate for their physical, emotional and financial well-being. If you are considering the legal guardian of a minor, you would be well-advised to speak with a reliable lawyer to understand the implications and responsibilities of becoming a guardian. At Our Law Firm, we have helped countless clients through the guardianship process.
What Is Guardianship?
A guardian is an adult who is appointed by the court to be legally responsible for the needs of a minor. There are two different types of guardianships: “guardian of a person” and “guardian of a minor’s estate.” As guardian of a person, you have legal custody and are responsible for the well-being of the minor. As guardian of the minor’s estate, you have the legal responsibility to manage the assets of the minor. In most cases, both guardianships are combined into guardian of a person, unless the minor has a substantial estate under California law (greater than $5,000).
As a guardian, you are responsible for a minor’s well-being, including food, shelter, education, health care, and their overall physical and mental well-being. Through guardianship, you do not retain permanent care over a minor. While your role as guardian will work similar to the role of a parent while the minor is under your care, only adoption can gain you full parental rights.
Guardianship typically lasts until the minor turns 18 or until the court determines that the guardianship is not in the minor’s best interests. You can also petition the court to terminate the guardianship in some situations.
Guardianship requires filing certain documentation with the court, which can take some time to review. In certain emergency situations, you may be able to expedite this process and receive a temporary guardianship to take immediate custody of a child while waiting for guardianship paperwork to become finalized.