Guardianship is when a court orders someone other than a child’s parent to: have custody of the child; manage the child’s property (called “estate”); or both. A probate guardianship of the person is set up when a child lives with an adult who is not the child’s parent, and the adult needs formal authority to make decisions on behalf of the child. A common example might be to qualify for a health benefit through insurance. The child must be under the age of 18. Further, guardianships are common when a child receives a large inheritance or monetary compensation. A Guardianship allows the Guardian to make financial decisions for the child and handle his or her estate.
In a Guardianship:
- Parents still have parental rights. They can ask for reasonable contact with the child
- The Court can end a guardianship if the parents become able to take care of the child.
- Guardians can be supervised by the court.