The appointment of a legal guardian most commonly occurs when a caregiver, a grandparent or some other close relative, is caring for a child because the natural or biological parents cannot. Once the guardian is appointed by the court, the parents’ rights to care, supervision, and custody of the child are suspended and given to the legal guardian. Any interested party can file the petition.
A guardian is granted custody and control over an incapacitated individual by the court. Guardians are responsible for making sure the ward has adequate medical attention, an acceptable place to live, adequate food, etc.
When a minor or an adult becomes incapacitated (or incompetent) due to an accident, disability, disease, or old age, it may be necessary to appoint a guardian or conservator to care for them. This enables someone to make important decisions for a minor or incapacitated person, including those involving property, finances, or child care. Conservators and guardians are appointed by the court.
Some of the Key Responsibilities of a Probate Guardian of a Child Include:
- Determining where the minor lives;
- Ensuring that the child has food, clothing, and shelter;
- Providing supervision for the child;
- Enrolling the child in school; and
- Ensuring the child has proper medical care.
If the child has inherited significant property, it is possible for an adult to obtain a guardianship over the child’s estate or property as well. Unlike most other family law cases, guardianships occur in probate court..
Some of the Important Responsibilities of a Probate Guardian of the Estate are:
- Controlling and preserving the assets of the estate property;
- Avoiding any conflicts of interest (i.e., self-dealing or using the property for personal profit or gain and taking part in a transaction involving an interest adverse to the minor’s);
- Managing the minor’s property for the child’s benefit until the age of 18.