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Guardianship Attorneys in Granite Bay, California

Guardianship in California

In California, guardianship is a court process by which a person is given custody of a child or authority over a child's property. To be appointed as guardian, a petition must be filed and approval by the court.

Importance of Designating a Guardian for Your Children in Your Estate Plan

In the event that you and your spouse pass away before your children reach age of 18, the court will have to appoint a guardian to provide for their care. The same is true if you are caring for a disabled adult child.

Court-appointed guardians may be close family members or may be someone designated by State law. They may also be individuals who have petitioned the court for appointment as guardians. However, the person the court appoints may not be the same person you would have chosen to act as the guardian of your children.

When you create an estate plan with Herrig, Vogt & Hensley, LLP, we ensure that you have a guardianship provisions in place for your minor children or disabled adult children. This provision allows you to nominate the person you trust most to care for your minor children if you are no longer able to do so.

In addition to nominating a guardian, you can also leave detailed instructions to outline your wishes for how your children are raised in terms of education, religious observances, dietary requirements, and other matters of important to you and your family.

Guardian of The Person and Guardian of The Estate

There are two types of guardians in California: guardian of the person and guardian of the estate. The guardian of the person has the general responsibility to manage the minor's health, safety, and welfare, and essentially assumes the responsibility of a parent. The responsibilities of a guardian of the person include:

  • Determine where the child will live

  • Provide physical care and supervision

  • Determine where the child will go to school

  • Provide food, shelter, and medical care

  • Consent to medical care for the minor

The guardian of the person must file an Annual Report to describe the minor's general condition to the court. This provides the court with an update on the minor's care and ensures the best interest of the minor are being met.

The responsibility of a guardian of the estate is to oversee the minor's financial affairs, including protecting assets for the minor's best interests, managing assets, and receiving assets. For example, the minor may be the recipient of life insurance proceeds or trust assets. Because they are a minor, they cannot legally own these assets. Therefore, the guardian of the estate must manage those assets for the benefit of the minor.

The guardian of the estate must file an Inventory and Appraisal with the court at the beginning of their appointment. The Inventory and Appraisal listed the assets of the estate and an estimated fair market value. The inventory informs the court of the size of the estate and resources available to support the minor.

Additionally, the guardian of the estate must file an Annual Account to the court. In the Account, you submit to the court all receipts and disbursement of estate funds, and all property on hand. It is essential to keep meticulous records, including all monthly bank statements, receipts, deposit slips, etc.

What to Consider When Selecting a Guardian

There are several important considerations to weigh when naming a guardian for your children.

First, it is critical that you trust the individual to raise your children with the values that are important to you and that they will provide your children with the same care you would. For the guardian of the estate, it is important to assess if the person you are considering is able to manage finances prudently.

Let Us Help You Plan for Your Future, and Your Children's

To learn more about this aspect of estate planning and get started on your case, contact us today fora free case evaluation. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can discuss your options and help you choose a guardian are trust and are comfortable with. We will also draft the necessary documents to ensure that the guardian knows what their duties are should they have to serve.

We serve clients throughout California, including in Placer, Sacramento, Nevada, and El Dorado County.

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We offer free case evaluations to potential clients who want to learn more about their legal rights and options in cases and disputes involving guardianships, trust and estate litigation, estate planning, probate, trust administration, asset protection and more!