Guardianship Laws FAQ: When Is Guardianship Necessary?

If you are caring for a child, you should seriously considering establishing a legal guardianship so that the laws will protect you when deciding on the child’s best interest. The following are some frequently asked questions on guardianship.

Is it necessary for me to establish legal guardianship of a child living with me and I am taking care of?

Guardianship may not be needed if the child has been with you only for a few weeks or couple of months but if the child has been with your for a long time, you should seriously consider legal guardianship. This will help you overcome the obstacles that you may have to face at the time of enrolling the child in a school or taking medical decisions on behalf of the child. It will give you a legal right to have a say in the child’s welfare which you will not have as a mere caretaker of the child.

If you have legal guardianship in place, you can fight the attempts made by the parents to regain custody. While guardianship however there is no guarantee that the court will award custody to you if the parents seek to regain custody.

Do parents have to establish guardianship over their children?

If someone leaves something for the child under a will, the child will need a guardian until the child attains the age of majority. In such cases the parent may have to become the guardian. When you become the guardian, you will be bound by certain legal obligations towards the child.

Guardianship protects people from liability for turning over the assets to the parents and the parents end up misusing it. The guardian’s management of the property is subject to scrutiny by the court. The parents must prove that they did not misuse the assets.

Creating a guardianship for the minor’s estate can be costly and time consuming. States have passed laws that allow a parent to easily manage the gifts their children receive up to a maximum value. The person gifting the asset only has to name someone to manage the asset until the child becomes an adult.

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