There are two types of Probate Guardianship:

  • Guardianship of the Person which means the guardian has custody of the child.
  • Guardianship of the Estate which means the guardian manages the child’s income, money or other property until the child turns 18.

For the most part, the guardian of the person has the same responsibilities as a parent. That means the guardian has full legal and physical custody of the child.

Guardianship of the Person

The guardian of the personĀ is responsible for the child’s care, including the child’s:

  • Food, clothing and shelter
  • Safety and protection
  • Physical and emotional growth
  • Medical and dental care
  • Education and any special needs

The guardian may also be responsible for the child’s behavior and any damage the child may cause.

Guardianship of the Estate

A guardianship of the estate is set up to manage a child’s income, money, or other property until the child turns 18. A child may need a guardian of the estate if s/he inherits money or assets. In most cases, the court appoints the surviving parent to be the guardian of the child’s estate.

In some cases the same person can be the guardian of the person and of the estate. In other cases, the court will appoint two different people.

Why would a child need a guardian?

Sometimes, no matter how much parents love their child, they aren’t able to take care of their child. Maybe one or both parents:

  • have a serious physical illness,
  • are in the military and have to go overseas,
  • have to go to a rehab program for a while,
  • are going to jail for a while,
  • have a drug or alcohol abuse problem,
  • have a history of abuse, or
  • can’t take care of their child for some other reason.

The court will look at what is in the best interest of the child to make sure the child is raised in a safe, stable and loving environment. A legal guardian can care for a child when the parents aren’t able to.

Call the Law Offices of David W. Knecht to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation with an attorney.