There are a number of reasons you might consider becoming a legal guardian. In California, many children are cared for by guardians rather than their birth parents or stepparents. If children are neglected or abused, or if parents just aren’t able to provide adequate care, someone else might step in to care for the child.
Guardianships are also formed to care for adults in a broad range of situations, but in either case, can become complicated legal processes. Whether you are considering becoming a guardian for a loved one who is a child or adult, you need to consult an experienced guardianship lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga.
Overall, guardianships are designed to provide care for someone who isn’t able to care for themselves. There are, however, different types of guardianships, each providing different levels of care, which will vary according to yours and the individual’s situation.
Some of the types of guardianships are plenary guardians which include caring for the person and the person’s estate, as well as emergency guardians, interim guardians, and limited guardians.
While this seems like a confusing number of options, Laurence J. Brock is a qualified attorney who can help you figure out which type of guardianship is best for your situation.
Child guardianships are among the most common types of guardianships, often resulting from divorce, and can also be the most complex. According to California law, the court must place the child’s best interests above anyone else when determining custody. This can mean a combination of responsibilities for you as the guardian, but doesn’t always mean you’re taking on the complete role of a parent. For instance, child guardianships can involve custody of the child, managing the child’s property (referred to as the estate), or both.
There are instances where adults require guardians as well. Elderly, disabled, and those classified as vulnerable adults might need a guardian for day-to-day care or to help manage their property. In California, guardianships for an adult are referred to as conservatorships and require an order from the probate court. Like guardianships, there are different types of conservatorships. For example, full conservatorships grant full powers over the adult while limited conservatorships include specific limitations.
In California, we have a third type of conservatorship, named after the Lanterman, Petris, and Short Act and referred to as LPS conservatorship. This type authorizes conservatorships for adults diagnosed with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder. In order for the court to appoint an LPS conservator, it must be proven with an evaluation performed by an authorized psychiatrist, that the individual suffers a serious mental illness.
Although responsibilities are similar, guardianships are not the same as adoptions. If you become guardian of the person, your responsibilities will include providing food, clothing, and shelter, as well as safety and protection, education, and medical care.
On the other hand, you could become guardian of the estate which involves managing money, investments, and whatever property the individual might have.
Often guardianships involve caring for both the person and the estate, but not always, which is one of the areas in which Laurence J. Brock can help figure out what’s best.
Whether you are considering guardianship or conservatorship over a child or adult, the process requires investigations and interviews of parents and individuals, hearings, and a court process you don’t want to navigate alone. Because each case is different, there might be certain requirements and limitations involved in what can become a difficult process that doesn’t end when you become appointed.
Deciding to become a guardian and accepting the responsibility of caring for another person and his or her property, isn’t an easy decision to make or one that should be taken lightly.
In order to navigate the entire process from beginning to end, you need the assistance of a caring and qualified guardianship lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga, familiar with the difficult decision to take on the responsibility of guardianship.
If you are considering becoming a legal guardian or have questions about how to get started, contact us online or call for a free initial consultation at (909) 466-7661.