Estate planning in California will have multiple issues that must be accounted for, but one that is a frequent cause for concern is guardianship. There are two kinds of probate guardianship in California and these must be understood by those who are concerned about a loved one after death. When drafting estate planning documents, it is essential to know whether there should be a guardianship and which kind is applicable if one is needed.
The first type of guardianship is the guardianship of the person. This means that the guardian will have the identical responsibilities to take care of the child as the parent has. The guardian will have full legal and physical custody and can decide about the child’s care. It can be anyone the testator chooses. Included in the responsibilities will be shelter, food, clothing, safety, emotional growth, physical growth, medical care, dental care, education and more. The child will also need to be supervised by the guardian.
The second type of guardianship is a guardianship of the estate. This will manage the child’s income, property and finances until he or she turns 18. The child might need this if there is money or assets as part of an inheritance. Often, the court will appoint the surviving parent as a guardian, but if both parents are gone, someone else can be the guardian. The guardian will be required to manage the child’s money, invest wisely, and managed the property of the child. This can be put in place if the child owns something of value or has a lot of money.
When creating an estate plan and there are young children involved, the parents or current guardians will want to ensure that the child is guaranteed proper care. This is what a guardianship is for. Discussing a guardianship with an experienced estate planning attorney can help to fill out the proper documents and make certain the child is cared for regardless of the type of guardianship is warranted and desired.
Source: courts.ca.gov, “Guardianship — Types of probate guardianship,” accessed on June 13, 2017