Guardianships of minors are under the jurisdiction of three different courts in California. Guardianships can take place in Probate Court, Family Court, or Dependency Court. At Sugai & Sudweeks, LLP we offer representation for Probate Guardianships.

A Probate Guardianship is a guardianship that is created by the Probate Court for the person and/or the estate of a minor. Traditionally guardianships were established for children who were orphaned. However, today it is more common for a guardianship to be used to protect a child whose parents are still living. These types of guardianship are brought by family members, other than the parents, or other adults with whom the child has resided.

A guardian of the person has the power to determine where a minor will live; ensure that the minor has food, clothing, and shelter; enroll the minor in school; obtain proper medical care for the minor; and is responsible for supervising the minor’s conduct.

A guardian of the estate has the power to manage the property and assets that belong to a minor subject to fiduciary duties that are set forth in the California Probate Code. A guardian of the estate will have an ongoing accounting duty to the Court.

In emergency situations, where a child is suffering from neglect or there is a threat that a child may be removed from the place that they have been residing for some time with someone to whom they are emotionally bonded, a temporary guardianship may be necessary to keep the child safe and their environment stable (maintain the status quo). To request an order for a temporary guardianship requires that a petition for guardianship already be filed or is filed simultaneously.

For additional information about probate guardianships we recommend you visit the self help website for the Superior Court of California County of Santa Clara.