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Establishing guardianship for the sake of a minor family member

Many situations could necessitate the establishment of guardianship of a minor child. In most cases, a minor has one or two parents to ensure his or her care and make many important decisions regarding education, health care and more. However, in the event that a child does not have a parent present in his or her life or lacks a person to make legal decisions, it may be necessary to explore the benefits of establishing a guardianship.

Depending on the nature of the individual situation, the family of the minor can seek guardianship, or the court may appoint a guardian. The guardian would be able to make legal decisions for that child. If you wish to act as the guardian for a minor member of your California family, you must be willing to act in the best interests of that child.

What are the responsibilities of the guardian?

Various people could take on the role of guardian of a minor child. Courts prefer that people who have some kind of relationship with the child have guardianship, such as a relative, someone chosen by the ward or another person familiar with the child. Guardians will have the following responsibilities:

  • The guardian should provide legal residency in order for the child to attend public school.
  • If necessary, the guardian could bring a lawsuit on behalf of the minor.
  • If the child needs them, the guardian could seek public housing or benefits for the ward.

The guardian will also bear the responsibility of managing the ward's estate and any assets in his or her name. A guardian could receive money for the care of the child, and he or she would ensure the appropriate use of that money and the saving of any extra funds for the benefit of the child.

If you wish to seek the guardianship of a minor child who needs care and support, you will be responsible for meeting educational and other needs. This is not a responsibility to take lightly.

Understanding your options for seeking guardianship

Establishing a guardianship is a legal process, and it is prudent not to navigate this process alone. If you have specific goals, such as caring for a minor child, you may find it beneficial to seek a complete evaluation of your individual situation, explanation of your legal options and guidance for the required steps in this process.

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