Whom is a Guardianship for?: A guardianship in California may be required when an individual, who is under the age of 18, needs someone to care for him or her and make decisions for him or her regarding board, care, education, finances, or health.

This is a court proceeding. A person cannot be a guardian without being appointed by the court.

If the individual you are seeking to make decisions for is 18 years of age or older, a conservatorship may be necessary. Click Here for information on California conservatorships.

Typical Situations Where a Guardianship May be Necessary:

Guardianship proceedings are often necessary when there are other legal matters occurring (i.e., death, divorce, lawsuit), where a child's parents are not available or appropriate to make all or some decisions for the minor child. In some situations, even if parents are available, a guardianship may be required for the parents to act on behalf of the child when a child receives money from an inheritance, a lawsuit, or other sources.

Other situations where a guardianship may be necessary include when a minor's parent(s) have addiction problems or problems with the law, and other family members seek the ability to care for and make decisions for the minor child while the child's parent(s) are not able to care properly for the child.

If you are considering a guardianship, the attorneys at The Law Office of John T. Anderson are here to assist you. We have experience handling guardianship and conservatorship matters in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County, and other areas of Southern California.

Other Considerations:

In speaking to young adults, many of whom do not have many assets yet, two matters must be dealt with:

  1. Everyone 18 years of age or older needs to have a Healthcare Power of Attorney (click video | text for more information on Healthcare Powers of Attorney).
  2. If a person has minor children (those under the age of 18 years), he or she should specify in writing (usually in a will) their preference for a guardian—someone to raise his or her child(ren) and handle any finances for the child(ren). This can be more than one person (i.e., "co-guardians") acting together; or, one or more individuals as guardians of the person (to raise the child(ren) and make medical and educational decisions), and one or more other individuals as guardians of the estate (to handle any money the minor is entitled to—Social Security, IRA, Life Insurance).

If you have minor children, it is very important that you name, in writing, whom you want to be their guardian if something happens to you. By specifying someone in writing, you give them a priority over everyone else except the other natural parent of the child.

Without someone named by you, there could be competing grandparents or uncles and aunts attempting to become guardians. This will cause problems within your family and could result in your child being raised by someone you do not want and would never choose.

In addition to guardianship or conservatorship matters, we can assist you in preparing Healthcare Powers of Attorney and in creating a document (usually a will) that names whom you want to be your child's guardian if something happens to you.

Please contact our office for more information.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this website is intended to inform the reader, generally, of issues in California estate planning, trust, and probate law and is not to be the final resource, and should not be considered legal advice. The information is not intended to be all-inclusive. To obtain detailed information or advice regarding a specific legal problem, you should contact a qualified attorney in your geographic area and state. Although attorneys John T. Anderson, Lisa R. Norman, and John T. Anderson, Jr. (“Attorneys”) intend that this website be correct, complete, and up-to-date, they do not guarantee it to be. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice, thus the reader must seek out specific advice, from competent counsel. Attorneys do not intend links on this website to be referrals or endorsements of the linked entities. Sending e-mails to John@trustlaw.ws or other e-mail addresses associated with attorneys or staff at The Law Office of John T. Anderson does not create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services provided by Attorneys exceeds that provided by other lawyers. To the extent that this website is deemed an “advertisement,” Attorneys advertise only in California and do not seek to represent a person based solely on that person’s visit to this website. Attorneys are licensed to practice law only in California and are willing to appear in courts only in California. Attorneys maintain one office located in Long Beach, California.

The Law Office of John T. Anderson
1741 E. Wardlow Rd., Long Beach, California 90807