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What is Guardianship?

Guardianship applies for individuals under the age of 18. Through a guardianship, an individual is authorized to make decisions for a minor, usually those that would have been made by a parent.

What is the difference between a conservatorship and guardianship?

Guardianship is for people under the age of 18, whereas a conservatorship is for persons over the age of 18. Generally disabled adults or those suffering from some form of dementia or other inability to provide for their own care will have a conservatorship. Guardianship generally occurs when a minor has lost both parents prior to the age of 18. Conservatorship generally occurs when a permanently disabled child achieves the age of 18 (which is called a limited conservatorship) or when an adult develops dementia, in which case, it is called a general conservatorship. 

When is a guardianship used or enacted?

A guardianship typically is used or enacted when a minor child has lost both biological parents prior to the age of 18. After one parent dies, it is not necessary for the surviving parent to petition for guardianship because the parent, generally speaking, already has legal care, custody, and control of the minor. However, it is advisable for a parent, and particularly for surviving parent, to nominate a successor guardian through an appropriately constructed estate planning document. If both parents die without having formally nominated a successor guardian, the court will choose a guardian for the minor child based on statutory presumptions of priority. If you would rather choose a guardian for your child than to have a court do so in the event that something should happen to you before your child turns 18, then please contact our office to advise you accordingly. 

Broderick Legal Group Cares

We care about our clients. We understand how important it is to be prepared and plan for your family in the event of a death. With our experience in the areas of estate planning, trusts, and probate, we know the latest in laws, including the taxation laws to protect your estate. We are also experienced in litigation in these areas. Contact us now for a consultation.

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