When Is A Guardianship Necessary?

All minor children must have an adult who is responsible for them. A legal guardianship is created when a court appoints an adult to be responsible for a minor child who isn't already the adult's child.

The guardian has legal custody of the child. This carries the responsibility of providing for his or her well-being — food, shelter and health care. Decisions about educational and religious development are also made by the guardian.

Common Mistakes

There are a couple of common mistaken assumptions about guardianship. For example, some people think that a guardianship can be established informally with just an agreement between the child's parent(s) and the person they want to act as guardian.

This isn't true. The only way that you can become a legal guardian is through a court order.

The other common mistake people make is thinking that when parents name a guardian for their children in a will, that person automatically becomes the guardian if the parents die. Even if you are named as guardian in a deceased parents' will, you still have to file a petition to be named guardian and ask the court to confirm the parents' wishes.

Do Not Assume

If you have questions about guardianships after being appointed in a will or asked to take on the responsibility for a relative or friend's child, get sound legal advice. Schedule a free initial consultation with our attorney by staying online and sending us a message summarizing your concerns.