During a guardianship proceeding, a probate court judge gives someone - other than a parent - custody of a child. The recipient can also gets the power to manage the child’s estate or property. A guardian may be classified as a guardian of the person, a guardian of the estate, or a guardian of both the person and the estate. Under this arrangement, the child is known as the guardian’s “ward.” Reasons for Guardianships A court usually appoints a guardian when the ward cannot care for himself or herself – usually due to one or more of the following on the part of the parents:
  • Infancy (under the age of majority)
  • Incapacity
  • Disability
A court may also appoint a guardian when the child’s parents can no longer care for the child due to:
  • Physical illness
  • Military deployment
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Incarceration
  • Child neglect
A family law attorney at the Law Offices of Rick Banks can assist you with determining whether or not a guardianship petition may be filed in your case, given your unique facts and circumstances. Guardianships of the Person in California In many cases, appointed guardians are relatives, family friends, or other interested individuals. Guardianship proceedings can be complex, and the knowledgeable lawyers at Rick Banks Law can help you navigate the process and assist you with filing a petition. A personal guardian is responsible for meeting the child’s basic needs, including the following:
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Medical care
  • Education
Guardianships of the Estate in California A guardian of the estate is charged with managing the child’s financial affairs until the child reaches the age of majority (i.e. 18 years). A guardian of the estate is usually appointed when the child inherits a large sum of money. Guardianships may also be categorized as “full,” “limited,” or “joint.” A full guardianship allows the guardian to make all decisions about personal or financial affairs, while limited guardianships allow for limited decision-making power – usually in the case of an adult who cannot make health care decisions for himself or herself. In a joint guardianship, more than one person serves as the guardian and may make decisions on behalf of the ward. A a lawyer at the Law Offices of Rick Banks can help you determine which type of guardianship is applicable to the facts and circumstances of your case. Steps for Beginning a Guardianship Proceeding In order to begin a petition to be a guardian, the following must occur:
  1. The guardian must file a petition with the proper court.
  2. The court must approve the petition.
  3. The guardian must follow through with all required duties and obligations.
Although they are similar, legal guardianships are different from adoptions. The court may terminate a guardianship at any time, depending upon the best interests of the child. However, a court cannot legally terminate an adoption. If you are interested in obtaining legal guardianship of a person, a lawyer at the Law Offices of Rick Banks can help you file your guardianship petition with the court and can ensure that all filing deadlines are met. Contact a Fresno Guardianship Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation In order to best begin the process of legal guardianship, it is essential that you have a Fresno guardianship lawyer on your side. A good lawyer will be able to answer all of your legal questions and concerns and can help you navigate your way through the complex process. The knowledgeable lawyers at Rick Banks Law are prepared to file a guardianship petition on your behalf and ensure that all of your legal rights are safeguarded. Contact a guardianship lawyer from Rick Banks Law at (559)222-4891 for a free initial consultation.