Guardianship is a probate case in which an adult seeks legal authority to make healthcare and/or financial decisions on behalf of a child under the age of 18 when the child’s parents are either unable or unwilling to do so themselves for a variety of reasons. Guardianships are used by the courts to protect minors (children under the age of 18) when the minor’s parents aren’t able to for any reason. A Guardian becomes the legal representative for the Ward.
Types of Guardianships
Probate Guardianship is a legal process designed to protect vulnerable children from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In California, you can seek a few different types of Guardianships:
- Guardianship of the Person: A guardian is appointed to make medical and welfare decisions for a Ward.
- Guardianship of the Estate: A guardian is appointed to safeguard the assets of a Ward.
The above are not mutually exclusive, i.e., you can ask for both a guardianship of the person and of the estate, or either. You can also request a Temporary Guardianship, which is an emergency procedure used when urgent circumstances require someone to be immediately appointed to act in a limited fashion as Guardian before the permanent guardianship request is heard by the court.