When it comes to estate planning, there are a lot of important decisions you will have to make for yourself. But, in some cases, you will also have to make decisions for important family members. This may occur when it comes to appointing a guardian. Read on to learn more about guardianships in California.
Why Would I Create a Guardianship?
Creating a guardianship for a member of your family gives the appointed person the legal authority to care for the person in the guardianship when they cannot care for themselves. In some cases, you may appoint yourself as someone else’s guardian, and in other cases, the 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 you must always abide by the following rules set forth 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
As a guardian, you are also responsible to the court, meaning you must be able to answer the court’s questions pertaining to your duties and actions as that person’s guardian. You are responsible for the following:
- Pay all bills and taxes on time
- Ensure the person you are a guardian for is living in a safe environment
- 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 Select a Guardian?
In many estate plans, people will select someone they trust to act as their guardian if they can no longer conduct legal affairs on their own. You may appoint someone to look after you in your old age, or, if you are a parent of a child under the age of 18, you may appoint a guardian to care for that child if you become unable to do so in the future. There are various circumstances under which you may select a guardian, but either way, it should be someone you trust.
If you are interested in creating a guardianship, contact our firm today.
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.