Frequently Asked Questions about Guardianships
If you are considering taking on a guardianship, you may have some questions about your rights, responsibilities, and obligations. Read on to discover some of the most frequently asked questions about guardianships as well as their answers.
What Is a Guardianship?
There are many reasons someone might need a guardian, for instance, if they become incompetent to take care of their normal affairs or if they are a minor. This post largely focuses on obligations, rights, and responsibilities of guardians for minors.
What Are the Different Types of Guardians?
There are several. First, natural guardians are the parents of the minor, or, in the case of a divorce, the parent with sole custody or both if there is joint legal custody. There are testamentary guardians, who are nominated by a child’s parents in a will. There are temporary guardians, who are appointed by the probate court to take care of a child whose parents or other guardians have temporarily given up their parental rights. There are standby guardians, who are nominated by parents or the current guardian pending health issues. And finally there are permanent guardians, who take over, for instance, when the child has no natural guardian.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Guardian?
The responsibilities of a guardian are many and important. They include to respect the rights and dignity of the minor, to arrange for the support, care, education, health, and welfare of the minor considering the minor’s available resources, to take reasonable care of the minor’s personal effects, to expend money of the minor that has been received by the guardian for the minor’s current needs for support, care, education, health, and welfare, to conserve for the minor’s future needs any excess money of the minor received by the guardian, and to, if necessary, petition to have a conservator appointed. These obligations can be found in O.C.G.A. 29-2-21.
Are There Ongoing Obligations to Update the Court?
Yes, there are. Within sixty days after appointment and within sixty days after each anniversary date of appointment, the guardian must file with the court and provide to the conservator (if there is one) a personal status report concerning the minor, which should include a description of the minor’s general condition, changes since the last report, and the minor’s needs, all addresses of the minor during the reporting period and the living arrangements of the minor for all addresses and recommendations for any alteration in the guardianship order.
How Do I Become a Guardian?
Becoming a guardian is a lengthy legal process. There is no magic formula to expedite the process. Even a handwritten agreement, even if notarized, cannot form a guardianship. There must be a hardship for the parent such as loss of home, serious illness, or incarceration, for example. The best way to seek guardianship is with the help of a qualified Atlanta family attorney with experience in a multitude of family law matters. You can find one at The Solomon Firm LLC. Call and make an appointment for a consultation today.