There are several cases where a court may deem it necessary to place a child, elderly person, or a someone with special needs, under the care of a guardian. Here are a few things you might want to know before assuming the role of a guardian.
A guardian has many of the same responsibilities as a parent. Sometimes the courts place a person, or child, under the care of a guardian because he or she is deemed unable to provide for his or herself. This means that the guardian handles housing, food, education, and any extra care, that the dependent needs. If the dependent has received an inheritance, the guardian is also responsible for managing the estate until the court deems the involvement of the guardian to be no longer necessary. In some cases, like in Juvenile Court Guardianship, the guardian is also financially responsible for the dependent.
Guardianship Vs. Adoption
Guardianship and adoption may seem similar, but they are actually very different in the eyes of the court. For example, if you were appointed to become the guardian of a child, the parents may still have the opportunity to be a part of the child's life. In an adoption the parental rights are given up to the adopters. In both cases, one is expected to provide for all the child's needs. However, a guardian may be monitored by the courts to make sure the needs of the dependent are met. Either path can be a life changing decision that should considered thoughtfully.
A Lawyer Can Help
In many guardianship cases there is a lot of heartbreak. The complex legal process of guardianship can add to the emotional burden. A lawyer can help a potential guardian meet all of the duties, fiduciary and otherwise, that are entailed in guardianship. It never hurts to have someone looking out for your best interests.
If you need help finding a path that is right for you and your loved ones, contact us at the Law Offices of James C. Shields. We want to help.