What You Need To Know About Legal Guardianships

Anytime a person is legally incapacitated, they will need legal guardianship. Legal capacitation is decided by the courts. The following are some things you need to know about guardianship, the types of guardianship, and what a guardian does:

What Are the Types of Guardianships?

There are two general types of guardianship. The guardianship of a person is one who is responsible for caring for a person who is incapacitated. The guardian of an estate is the person responsible for the financial matters of a person who is incapacitated. The guardian of an estate also preserves and maintains the estate's assets.

What About Minor Child Guardianship?

The parent of a child will always be their legal guardian. For that reason, a guardian is only needed if the child's parents become incapacitated themselves, cannot care for the child, or pass away. Parents should have a declaration of guardian listed in their estate plan. This declaration names the person who will become the guardian of the child in the event they can no longer care for the child themselves.

Guardianship of a minor is also necessary when a child is to receive assets in a last will and testament or is named as a beneficiary for an insurance plan. In some states, children cannot legally own certain assets, such as property, without a legal guardian to manage it.

When Do Adults Require Guardianship?

A guardship of an adult is required if an adult is incapacitated and can no longer properly care for themselves or is mentally challenged. A guardianship of an adult is also necessary when a person is unable to manage their finances.

The guardian of an adult will make healthcare and financial decisions and essentially take responsibility for the health and well-being of that person.

Is Guardianship Permanent or Temporary?

Guardianships can be both permanent and temporary. Temporary guardianship is used when a person is in immediate need. If there is not an immediate need, there is time to select a permanent guardian. To determine if there is a need for either temporary or permanent guardianship, there are some parameters that must be met. If harm can come to the person or their estate is in jeopardy if they do not receive a guardian right away, they then need a temporary guardian until a permanent arrangement can be made.

Guardianship is a very complex topic that crosses several areas of the law. If a loved one needs guardianship or if you have been named guardian of someone, be sure to work closely with a guardianship attorney to ensure all legal parameters are met.