Several weeks ago on this blog, we talked about the basic definition of a guardian and we delved into how a guardianship works. This week, we will dig a little deeper into the subject and talk about two of the most common types of guardianships, temporary and testamentary. While they both sound similar, they are completely different. Let’s break them down.
The first type is the testamentary guardianship. This is where the parents of a child, either an adult child with disabilities or a minor child, choose a person to be the child’s guardian should the parents pass away. This guardian will be in charge of making important decisions for the child’s well-being, including school issues, medical care and housing. When the parents do this, they are ensuring that their child will be taken care of when they are gone.
In the event of the parents’ deaths, the court will examine the appropriateness of the guardian and can dismiss him or her if it feels that the guardian is unfit, unwilling or unable to perform the duties necessary to care for the child. Once the guardian is chosen, he or she will perform those duties until it’s no longer necessary.
Temporary guardianships, on the other hand, are granted by the courts either to serve during an emergency or during a set period of time. Emergency guardianships are used when time is of the essence and a decision must be made. The guardian acts in this role until the emergency is over.
Limited guardianships are guardianships that are limited by some factor, either the length of time or the breadth of decisions the guardian can make.
If you’re interested in creating a guardianship, you might wish to speak with an attorney.