What is a Guardianship? A Guardianship is a legal agreement that names someone as a legal caregiver for a child, including the right to make decisions for the minor’s welfare. Generally, when a minor is removed from the home or other premises of their parents, a legal conservatorship has been granted. This conservatorship gives the parents the right to make major decisions for the welfare of their child. If you want to execute your own guardianship and trust, there are specific requirements that must be met. First, you need to file the proper forms with the county in which you live; however, most counties have a very simple form that can be completed online.
A Guardianship and trust Will be typically in the form of Last Will and Testament utilized by the individual parent(s) of minors who are in need of personal care. A last will is effective when it is filed with the probate court on the day that the decedent has died. It provides for the distribution of property and liquidation of any inheritance or estate assets. Generally, guardianship and trust will also provide for the appointment of an appointed guardian for the minor.
How are guardianship and trusts different than guardianship? A primary difference is that guardianships tend to be more open ended and flexible while trusts tend to be very closed and restrictive. When there is a will, the individual’s assets are more likely to be distributed fairly and without much involvement on the part of the individual’s estate. In contrast, the process of creating a trust involves a more complex sequence of steps, including: creating the trust, filling in the forms, providing for the services of an attorney or other experienced professional, gathering the necessary documents, meeting with creditors and beneficiaries, and possibly even entering into the practice of law. There are additional and more subtle differences between the two methods. Some examples include:
Who is a minor child? The individual must be at least 18 years old to qualify for guardianship. However, some jurisdictions actually allow a minor to file for guardianship with the consent of one or both parents. Nonetheless, in many instances a minor may be considered for guardianship if the person who would be qualified for adoption has already been adopted. An adoption procedure often involves a long and drawn out legal process.
What are the pros and cons of guardianship and how does it affect my estate? One of the main advantages of guardianship is that it provides a much-needed safety net for a minor. Often, when there is a death of a parent that leaves a minor child home alone, the result can be dire, resulting in a caregiver being incapacitated. An incapacitated caregiver is someone who is not able to care for a minor’s needs, which can be very detrimental to the child. This is often a reason why guardianship is a better option for some children than adoption.
Is guardianship only available for people who have minor children? No, it is also available for adults who have minor children but do not have any other dependents. A qualified adult can file for guardianship, said a conservatorship attorney serving in Georgia. However, the court may appoint another person as the minor’s guardian, called a conservator. The conservator will assume responsibility for the minor’s estate and will take care of any debts, financial liabilities, and will be responsible for making sure that the minor’s properties are properly cared for. The conservator is also responsible for making sure that any personal belongings belonging to the minor are properly taken care of.