It is important to ensure that you have your life and assets in the hands of a trusted individual in the event that you are unable to care for yourself. If you are interested in learning about guardianships, do not hesitate to contact our experienced California estate planning attorneys. At The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman, we are committed to ensuring that your future interests are protected. Read more to learn about guardianships in California.
What are guardianships in California?
A guardianship allows an elected person to have the legal authority to care for a person when they cannot care for themselves. Typically, this occurs if an adult becomes incapacitated, or if a person is elderly. In some cases, you can appoint yourself as an individual’s guardian, or in other instances, a court may appoint you as another person’s guardian.
What responsibilities does a guardian have?
If you are appointed as a guardian for another person’s property or their money, you are considered a fiduciary. This means that you must always follow these rules set by the state:
- You must only act in the individual’s best interest
- You must manage the individual’s money and property carefully and responsibly
- You must keep the individual’s money and property entirely separate from their own
- You must keep orderly records of all money and property
You must also be responsible to the court, which means that you will have to always answer the court’s questions regarding your duties and actions as that individual’s guardian. You will be responsible for the following:
- Ensure the person you are a guardian for is living in a safe environment
- Pay all bills and taxes on time
- List every asset the individual owns
- Always follow the court’s instructions
- Keep receipts for all expenses related to your guardianship
- In certain cases, you must ensure all healthcare needs are met
How do I choose a guardian?
In most cases, people may choose a trusted individual to be their guardian and put it in their estate plan before they are incapacitated. You can appoint someone if you are of old age, or if you are a parent of a child under the age of 18 and need someone to care for that child in the event that you are unable to do so yourself. Either way, you should always appoint a trusted person to be your guardian.
Contact our Firm
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Do not delay. Estate planning is a more urgent matter than you may think. You never know what the future holds. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.