Palm Springs Guardianship Lawyer

Palm Springs Guardianship Attorney

Becoming a guardian is often the result of a difficult, painful situation. Guardianship of a child is usually considered upon the death of the parents or when the parents are not able to properly care for their child. Guardianship of an estate involves protecting a child’s inheritance, if any, until they come of age. This is a complicated situation that can be extremely sensitive, and the ideal way to establish guardianship in Palm Springs is to reach out to an experienced Palm Springs guardianship lawyer.

Palm Springs Guardianship Lawyer

What Is Guardianship?

Guardianship occurs when an adult who is not the child’s parent becomes legally responsible for that child’s welfare. This usually occurs due to the sudden death of the parents or if the parents are unable to care for their child for whatever reason. Guardians protect the child’s interest and their estate, if there is one. They manage the child’s money or property until they come of legal age to handle their estate planning by themselves.

Guardianship vs. Adoption

Guardianship is similar to adoption, but there are a number of significant differences between the two concepts. In a guardianship, the parents’ rights to the child are only taken away as long as the guardianship is in effect. If the court deems the parents fit to raise their child after some time away, the guardianship can end. In a guardianship, the court stays involved the entire time and monitors the child until they turn 18 to ensure the child is not being abused, neglected, or mistreated in any way.

Adoption is far more final. In an adoption, the parental rights of the biological parents are completely signed away for good. The court stays out of things once the adoption has gone through. The child’s new, legal parents are considered by the court to be the child’s official, real parents. If the child wishes to seek out their birth parents at some point, that is their choice. However, the birth parents do not have the legal right to seek out the child, as they are no longer considered parents.

If you are a child’s guardian, this does not mean that you cannot become their legal parent through adoption. If a guardian wants to adopt the child they are looking after, it is easier for them to make a case for adoption, as the child has already been living with them for some time.

How to Become a Guardian in California

If you’d like to apply for the guardianship of a child who needs it in Palm Springs, California, there are several steps you must take before you can be considered by the courts. The courts’ first priority is the interests of the children; therefore, there will be a thorough investigation before you are named a guardian.

  • Start a case: File the proper paperwork with the courts to begin your case. It costs $225 to apply for guardianship of a person, while it costs $450 to apply for guardianship of an estate.
  • Notify the family: You must let the child’s family know you are pursuing guardianship. Have a copy of your paperwork sent to them. A court date will be set. You can ask for the family’s consent to your guardianship, but even if the family approves, they can still change their minds and object at the hearing.
  • Cooperate with an investigation: The court will not approve your guardianship without first ordering an investigation into you and your motives. There will be a background check, and the investigator will submit a report to the judge.
  • Go to court: Prepare for your court date and state your case. A judge will make a decision based on the evidence at hand.


Q: What Are the Two Types of Guardianship in California?

A: There are two types of guardianship in California. There is guardianship of a person, which means taking over the custody of a child for whatever reason. There is also guardianship of an estate, which is assuming control over a child’s property or inheritance until they come of age. It is imperative that you understand your duties as a guardian before you submit a case. Hiring an experienced guardianship attorney is a useful first step toward understanding how this works.

Q: How Do I Get Guardianship of a Child Without Going to Court in California?

A: You can have the parents sign a Guardianship Authorization Affidavit. This form gives a relative or non-relative permission to make decisions on behalf of the child’s welfare, education, and healthcare. Essentially, by signing this form, the parents are giving you informal custody of the child. The parents can opt to cancel this form at any time, so the safest way to obtain official guardianship is to go through the court.

Q: Do Guardians Get Paid in California?

A: Thanks to the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment program, or Kin-GAP, a monthly payment is provided to the guardian to assist in taking care of the child. This program was designed to aid in family stability by providing relatives with financial assistance.

For a guardian to receive Kin-GAP assistance, the child must be a ward of the court and have been placed in the guardian’s home for at least six consecutive months. Also, the guardian must have entered into a written agreement with the appropriate governmental entity prior to establishing guardianship.

Q: How Do I File for Emergency Guardianship in California?

A: To file for an emergency guardianship, you must first fill out all the proper paperwork, then contact a probate attorney to review the forms. The court will then perform a background check on you and any other adults who live with you.

The emergency or temporary guardianship will start once the court has all the proper information, including your relationship with the child and why you are pursuing emergency guardianship. The guardianship will end when a general guardian is appointed or if the parents become well enough to assume responsibility.

Contact a Palm Springs Guardianship Lawyer Who Can Help You

At Edgar & Dow, our experienced guardianship lawyers understand your situation and can guide you through making the most informed decisions that is best for you and the child you are helping. Contact us now to schedule a consultation. We are here to help.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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