Being a person’s legal guardian means being legally responsible for his or her well-being. For example, when you are someone’s guardian, you have the authority to make financial decisions on his or her behalf. In some cases, you also have the authority to make decisions about a person’s medical treatment. With this in mind, you might need to become the guardian of a child if the child’s parents are unable to properly care for their children. It is possible to complete the forms to file guardianship without hiring a lawyer, but they are complicated, and if you make mistakes, it will significantly delay the process. Your best option is to have a registered legal document assistant to prepare the guardianship forms for you.

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…or continue reading the article below to learn more about the forms required to file guardianship in California.

Different Types of Guardianship in California

California recognizes different types of guardianship:

  • Court Ordered Guardianship of the child’s person: The child lives with you, and you can make decisions about the child’s care and upbringing. In California this correlates to physical and legal custody.
  • Court Ordered Guardianship of the child’s estate: If the child has wealth, such as an inheritance, he or she needs an adult to be legally responsible for that wealth until the child is old enough to access it. You can apply for guardianship of the child’s estate with or without guardianship of the child’s person.
  • Informal Guardianship: An informal guardianship is a voluntary, non-court guardianship authorization given by the parent(s) of a minor to another person for a temporary period. It can be easily terminated without court intervention.

Forms to File Guardianship in California

Filing for guardianship of a minor in California is just a matter of submitting the proper forms, but there are a lot of them, and you must fill them out thoroughly and accurately. Keep in mind, every guardianship case is different. Even so, many of the standard forms can be found and downloaded from the California Court’s website. As you can see, there are many required forms to file guardianship in California. For the most part, California courts use the same basic set of forms. In this regard, however, some courts also require special, local forms, in addition to the basic set. Contact the Court Clerk to check if they require any special, local forms. As for the standard forms, here are some of them and a brief description of what they do:

  • GC-210 – application for guardianship of the person and estate of a minor
  • GC-210(P) – application for guardianship of the child’s person only
  • GC-210(CA) – the Child Information Attachment to the petition for guardianship
  • GC-212 – Confidential Information Screening form
  • GC-120 – Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)
  • GC-020 – Notice of Hearing
  • GC-248 – Duties of Guardian
  • GC-240 – Order appointing Guardianship
  • GC-250 – Letters of Guardianship

Should You Hire a Lawyer to File Guardianship?

Even though the paperwork appears complicated, in most situations completing the forms for guardianship will not require you to hire a lawyer.  On the contrary, some situations may be complex enough to consider hiring a lawyer. The following examples are situations when you may want to hire an attorney:

  • The child has a disability or other special needs.
  • You are applying for guardianship of a young adult (ages 18 to 20) with special needs.
  • The child has an adoption or custody case still pending when you apply for guardianship.
  • You are applying for guardianship of the estate of a child with a large amount of wealth.

On the positive side, if the above items don’t apply, then you probably don’t need a lawyer to file for guardianship. You will, however, require the services of a legal document assistant to prepare your forms correctly.

Choose A People’s Choice for Guardianship Form Preparation

To sum it up, applying for guardianship of a child can be just what your family needs; but you do not need enormous bills from a lawyer. Contact A People’s Choice about preparing forms to file guardianship of a minor. Using our services will not only save you money, but will also give you peace of mind that your documents are correct and the court will accept them. Call us today at 800-747-2780.

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