In most situations, California law requires that minors have an adult guardian who is responsible for them. If the court orders guardianship, it can be:
- Guardianship of the child’s person (custody),
- Guardianship of the child’s property (called “estate”),
- Guardianship of both the child’s person and estate.
A Guardian of the minor’s PERSON has legal custody of the minor, and is responsible for taking care of the minor’s well-being. A guardianship of the minor’s ESTATE is necessary if the minor has substantial assets, such as an inheritance. Depending on your situation, you may need a guardianship of the minor’s person, estate or both.
Once a guardianship in California has been established, the person appointed as the minor’s guardian must serve as guardian until legally released by the court. This could be when the minor reaches age 18 or earlier if the court terminates the guardianship. There may be other alternatives to allow someone to care for a minor without getting a formal legal guardianship. Special Caregiver and Guardianship Authorization forms and other statements can be prepared and notarized which can give a non-parent a broad range of responsibility for a minor, such as to obtain benefits and apply for health insurance, authorize medical care or enroll the minor in school.
Filing Your Proceeding Using our Self-help Services
In view of the voluminous paperwork required by the court, preparing all of the necessary guardianship documentation can easily be overwhelming for the average lay person. For routine proceedings, this process can easily be facilitated with our full service document preparation and processing.