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You were named as a Guardian... What do you Do now?


If you have been named as Guardian of a Minor Child, you may have lots of questions. What do you do?

  • person who tucks “the kids in at night.”

  • may or may not be the person in charge of finances.

  • great privilege and a great responsibility to be named as a guardian.

  • whether you are able to provide the level of care needed in the situation you are presented with.

So, what are the responsibilities of a guardian?

The responsibilities of a guardian can vary from state to state depending on the state’s law. Here, in California, the following are typically responsibilities of a guardian appointed by the court:

  • Feed and shelter the minor-- this shelter does not necessarily have to be with you as the guardian

  • Sometimes guardianship duties can extend to duties of financial support (not with your own funds)

  • Get government assistance for the minor

  • Pursue lawsuits on behalf of the minor

  • Save any excess funds not spent on the care of the child for their future.

  • Care for the minor’s personal items

  • Make sure the child is receiving a proper education

  • Make sure the child’s medical needs are provided for as well

Sometimes a guardian will have to get approval to do certain things on behalf of the child, like moving the residence of the child out of state.

When does a guardianship end?

Typically the guardianship ends when a minor (at least in CA) turns 18. The guardianship can also terminate if the parent of the child becomes able to care for the child again. Of course, if the child passes away the guardianship ends then as well. The court can also remove the guardian, if necessary.

How are guardianship and adoption different?

The main way that guardianship and adoption are different is that guardianship does not terminate parental rights, whereas adoption will terminate the parental relationship between a child and parent.

When is a guardianship needed?

Typically a guardianship is needed if a parent must care for a child’s education or medical needs because it will be difficult to get the medical care needed for a child and the education needed for a child without the child’s parent or guardian signing off.

For more information on guardianship browse our other articles or call us to set an appointment.

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