Santa Cruz Estate Planning Attorney


Guardianship is a court process whereby one person can be appointed to become legally responsible for a minor child. Guardianships commonly come up when somebody dies with a minor child. Even if they nominated a guardian for their child in their will it still needs to be approved by the court. If nobody is nominated the court must make a choice from the people willing to become guardians.

In many situations the guardians are loved ones who accept the responsibility that comes with becoming a guardian. A guardian becomes legally and financially responsible to care for the minor. It also may be necessary to create a guardianship to enroll a child in school and apply for any benefits on the child?s behalf.

Guardianships can also be implemented in other ways. In juvenile dependency actions, the court may name a guardian when reunification efforts have failed. This is a much different court process than a guardianship established in family or probate court. Each type of guardianship requires understand the proper court and relevant laws. The responsibilities of the guardian are the same, but the process of establishing or changing the guardianship is different.