What is Legal Guardianship?
Legal guardianship is when parents set up a legal plan for someone to take care of or assume responsibility for their children and wards in the event of their untimely demise or incapacitation. This is usually a worst-case scenario type of arrangement, and involves choosing someone you absolutely trust to do this.
Parents who do this often want to make sure that come what may, their underage children (minors) can still have a good life and some semblance of parenting even if they’re not around/able to care for them (overseas military posting for example), are terminally ill, incarcerated, and likely to abandon the kids.
Guardianship basically gives the individual(s) the rights to take care of your kids as they would theirs, even if temporarily. So, legal guardians become responsible for the children’s education, upkeep, healthcare, shelter, clothing and so much more. It’s a huge responsibility, which is why you have to choose the right individual(s) very carefully.
There are two major types of probate guardianship, and each has its unique requirements/process:
- Guardianship of the person – personal care of the ward
- Guardianship of the estate – tends to a person’s estate (property, finances, etc.)
Each one requires the expertise of a competent and qualified Newport Beach guardianship lawyer. Our attorneys can help you with this because we’re experienced at filing for and setting up guardianships for clients.
Conditions for Guardianship in Newport Beach, CA
All legal guardians should have a demonstrated capacity to protect, care and provide for your children. This means they should
- Be gainfully employed -have a decent job
- Be able to provide safe and secure living conditions
- Be in good mental and physical state -because they’ll be making legal decisions that will affect your child’s well-being
- Be able to provide good education for your child
- Be willing to hand over inheritances/estates when the child matures –usually from age 18
- Be someone trustworthy and with moral values
Most people opt for trusted family members and friends as guardians. This works out well in most cases because of familiarity, similar values, and familial/close bonds. However, you still need to draw up a solid agreement, even if you already have a verbal arrangement in place.
Newport Beach Guardianship Lawyers Can Help
So, even though the courts usually prioritize the well-being of the children, their hands may be tied if there’s no guardian.
This means that your kids may end up getting picked up by the Child Protective Services, and their case handed over to a social worker. If the CPS doesn’t find any guardian, the chances of the children ending up in foster homes is high. Worse still, they might split them up.
Setting up guardianship agreements and plans is very difficult, as it forces you to confront your own mortality. But, this is better than leaving the fate of your child’s future in the hands of strangers –usually the judge and whoever becomes a guardian.
At least, with this option, you can control the outcome and improve the odds of your child getting the best when you’re not around. Most of the time, guardianship arrangements are uncontested. But, in instances where it’s contested, it’s always better to have a Newport Beach Guardianship attorney going to bat for you.
If you need some guidance about this or want to know more about it, call the family attorneys at Sarieh Law Offices today on