I often get questions about becoming a guardian for a minor, what it means, how to do it, those sorts of things. With National Siblings Day one month away, it seemed an apt time for a post covering the basics – to make sure the minor kids are cared for!
Please remember that each situation is different and my BEST advice is to talk to an attorney in your area that specializes in these matters. If you are in Los Gatos or the San Jose, CA area, you are welcome to print this Free 30 Minute Legal Consultation and use it to get some of your initial questions answered at no charge. If it’s 2am and you are in your jammies and just looking for some quick info… Read on!
What is a Guardian for a Minor?
The guardian for a minor is term for the person acting for a minor, on the minor’s behalf. In the state of California, a minor is someone under the age of eighteen. In order to choose a guardian for their minor child, it is important to fully understand what the guardian’s role is.
First, there are two types of guardians and these responsibilities need NOT be assigned to one person. While there are advantages of having one person serve in both capacities, there are just as many disadvantages. THIS is something you want to discuss with an experienced attorney. A trust and estate specialist will have plenty of working knowledge on this and will be able to offer insight into YOUR particular information!
Two Types of Guardians
- Guardian of the Person – The guardian of the person of the minor is responsible for the care and feeding of that minor when neither birth parent is able to act as parent. In most cases the minor will also live with the guardian of the person.
- Guardian of the Estate – The guardian of the estate manages money for the minor. A guardian of the estate is necessary if a minor receives a gift or inheritance over a certain amount and there is no other arrangement for the management of the money. Sometimes a grandchild may be named as the beneficiary of the life insurance policy of a Grandparent who passes while the Grandchild is still a minor. In this case, a parent may be named as the guardian of the estate until the minor Grandchild reaches a certain age.
What is the First Step to Becoming a Guardian for a Minor
Finding the right guardian for a minor, especially you child, is one thing you REALLY want to get right! Every child is precious and the trauma that necessitates the need for this is painful. This is why planning for a child’s well-being in this way is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give them. As a parent myself, I understand the fear many have around this topic and while it may seem easier to avoid it altogether, it is not. This is one of those times that a parent really needs to be strong and really demonstrate the love they have for their child or children.
If you are reading this today, the great news is that YOU are here and YOU can handle this. This might be the perfect time to use your Free 30 Minute Legal Consultation. I encourage you to pull together your questions and set an appointment. Knowledge is power… It’s what we tell our kids, right?
This blog contains general information and is not meant to apply to a specific situation. Please seek advice of counsel before proceeding as each case is unique.