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Guardianships

If you need help navigating guardianship law or in the establishment of a conservatorship of the person, contact Jacoby & Meyers today. We can prepare and file the necessary documents for you.

What is a Guardianship?

A guardianship is the establishment of a person who has the legal responsibility to care for a minor. There are two types of guardianships.

First, guardianship of the person is when a minor (also known as a ward) is taken from the care of the parents to be put under the care of a third party. This can be done voluntarily by the parents, or it can be done if the parents are shown to be incapable of caring for the minor and would therefore be best under the care of another individual.

Know that if you voluntarily pass on guardianship of your child, you will no longer have the power to make decisions about your child's life, although often the court will monitor the behavior of the guardian. Also, establishing a voluntary guardianship over your child could affect your parental rights in the future.

A guardian is responsible for the all expenses contingent on the care of the ward, and if the ward does not have an estate with sufficient resources to cover these expenses, the guardian must supply the difference.

One aspect of guardianship that is far too often overlooked is the establishment of a guardian over a child in the event of the parents' death. None of us expect to die, but if you have a child, establishing a guardianship in the event of your death is a crucial step to take in ensuring their wellbeing following your untimely demise.

Second, guardianship of the estate occurs when a minor receives assets from a deceased person, either through probate court proceedings, or is the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. If a minor receives property, the property must be under the charge of a guardian.

If you would like to establish a guardianship over a minor you know to need care, or if you know a minor who is receiving property as a result of probate or as a beneficiary of life insurance, please contact our family law attorneys to receive help in making all necessary legal actions to quickly and effectively establish the guardianships. Jacoby & Meyers has offices nationwide.