Legal guardians are an important option available to parents who wish to plan for the care of minor children in their absence due to a variety of situations, such as illness, incarceration, or death. Choosing a legal guardian allows parents to name a caregiver who can step in to provide decision-making concerning the protection, education, and care of their children.
Generally speaking, there are five types of legal guardianship types: (1) a temporary guardian may appointed if the parent of a minor is unable to care for their child for a period of time due to illness or absence for some other reason (2) co-guardian is given if a parent or court-appointed guardian who is the sole guardian of the minor petitions for the appointment of another person to serve with them (3) a plenary guardian is appointed to care for those who are intellectually disabeled, (4) a testamentary guardian is designated through a will or similar instrument where a court appoints a person to serve as guardian following their death (5) a standby guardian takes effect on the occurrence of a specified contingency like parent’s illness, death, or absence. Unlike other forms of guardianship, the Probate Court is not involved in the designation of a standby guardian.
If a minor’s parents drafted will names a legal guardian, the Probate Court may appoint the guardian pursuant to the will after notice and hearing to the parties who have a right to be heard including the minor child him or herself. If a minor is in need of a new or different legal guardian during a parent’s lifetime, a person interested in the child’s life may file a petition to have the court to remove the child’s current guardian, natural or otherwise, and appoint a different one
If you have concerns or questions about guardianships, we can help. Our legal team at the Law Offices of Charles L. Kurmay takes the time to learn about our clients’ individual needs and provide personalized service. We want to ensure that you have total peace of mind regarding who would take care of your minor children.
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For experienced, dedicated legal guidance in probate law, contact us at (203) 380-1743. We offer free initial consultations for prospective clients. Evening and weekend appointments are available for your convenience.