Probate Guardianship Frequently Asked Questions

Are you facing an incurable illness and wondering what will happen to your children?  Have you decided on a friend of family member to appoint as the guardian for your precious children, but you are confused as to the process?  If these questions are at the forefront of your mind, please contact the Law Office of David Knecht.  We have answers.  If you are in the process of educating yourself on the basics, here is an overview of some of the frequently asked questions about probate guardianship with information derived from the following:  

What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a court process where a person who isn’t the child’s parent is given custody over the child (authority and responsibility to care for the child) or custody over the the child’s property. 

Who can be a Guardian?

The range is wide of parties who could qualify to be a guardian, from relatives to friends to interested parties. 

Can I name a Guardian for my children in my will?

Yes, you can name a guardian for your children.  You can write a letter naming a guardian or include it in your will.  If both parents are dead, the court will decide who the guardian is, but the court will take into consideration your recommendation.

Can I ask for a Guardian for my children if I am dying?

Yes, if you have an incurable illness and legal custody of the child, you can ask the court to appoint a join guardian, which can make the transition easier when you pass away.  This can give peace of mind to a parent who is facing an early death.  If the court approves the joint guardianship, both of you will act as parents when you are alive and then the joint guardian will have full custody of the child without another guardianship hearing. 

Can a child ask for a Guardian?

Yes, if a child is 12 years old or older, he or she can ask the court for a Guardian. 

Where can I go for answers about Guardianship?

If you have questions about Guardianship, the attorneys at the Law Office of David Knecht, have extensive experience in all aspects of family law and estate planning and can answer your questions.  Contact us at 707-451-4502 for more information.