Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal SpecializationServing your Community for 19 Years
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What is a probate guardianship?

California Courts define guardianship as a legal order for someone other than the parents to assume custody of a child, manage the child’s estate, or to do both things together. The one seeking guardianship may bring the matter before the court, or the parents themselves or another family member may request the appointment of guardianship.

A probate guardianship may become necessary in many different circumstances. Either or both parents may be in the military and become deployed overseas. They may have a serious mental or physical illness, be sentenced to jail, have drug or alcohol addictions, are going into a rehab program, or for other reasons cannot care for their child.

Probate guardianship can mean taking responsibility for a child or the child’s property. The guardian makes all the decisions for the child’s care, including schooling, medical needs, and day-to-day interactions. Unlike an adoption, parents retain their rights and can seek reasonable contact with their child. They can also request the termination of guardianship if they feel they are once again able to care for the child.

Sometimes, the court appoints the same person as the guardian of both the child and his or her estate, or money. However, the judge has the option of naming two different people. Typically, a court will award this type of guardianship to a surviving parent and charge them with careful management of the estate. Estate guardianship is not necessary unless the child inherits something of value, such as a great deal of money or a home.

While this article contains valuable information about guardianships, it is general in nature. It is not intended to be legal advice.

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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Del Mar, CA 92014

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