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Guardianship - Guardianship Authorization Letter

Guardianship Authorization Letter

The For The People Guardianship Authorization Letter form can be used to give a person who is not a minor child's parent permission to make decisions for the child for a certain period of time.

For example, a parent might sign the Guardianship Authorization Letter form before a minor child goes on a long trip. This may give another adult (named in the letter) the power to make decisions for the minor child while on the trip, such as consenting to necessary medical care.

A Guardianship Authorization Letter is not the same as a court-ordered guardianship and is not filed in court. At least one parent of the minor child must sign the Guardianship Authorization Letter before a notary public.

What is a Guardianship?

Guardianship is the appointment of an adult to be responsible for a minor. Guardianships are temporary. They are usually done in cases where both parents are deceased, incapacitated or otherwise unable to care for and raise their child. A petition and court hearing are required. There are three types of guardianships.

Guardianship of the Person:

Guardian is responsible for the food, clothing, shelter and health care needs of the minor, along with small scale finances.

Guardianship of the Estate:

Guardian is responsible for the significant finances (over $5,000) of the minor from inheritance/gift/court settlement, etc.

Guardianship of Person and Estate:

Guardian is responsible for all aspects of minor's care and finances.

A guardianship of the estate is needed if:

1. Minor has or will receive through gift or inheritance a sum in excess of $5,000. The parents will usually be guardians in this case. It is typically done so the parents can invest the inheritance or buy or sell real property.

2. Minor is the named beneficiary of a life insurance policy

3. Minor is the recipient of public benefits and the agency paying those benefits requires a guardianship

4. A court order requires the appointment of a guardian

The Petition

Where to file: The petition must be filed in the county and judicial district where the minor lives. The Certificate of Assignment (if required) should be completed using the address where the minor lives as the qualifying factor.

Co-Guardians: It is possible to have two petitioners who wish to have guardianship over a single minor. The Court generally prefers that these two people be a married couple, but there are exceptions. Domestic Partners, for example, can petition for guardianship. Use your own judgment.... if it sounds like the court won't go for it, talk to Creig. You can list both names as Petitioners, but there can only be one address. If the petitioners have separate residences, they must choose one for the court record.

Temporary guardianship

Under certain circumstances petitioner can request and receive appointment as a temporary (30 days) guardian pending the hearing. Reasons for temporary guardianship:

  • 1. Non emergency medical treatment
  • 2. Qualify for public assistance
  • 3. School enrollment
  • 4. Mother entering military
  • 5. Desertion by parents
  • 6. Court congestion - hearing date set beyond time needed to make important decisions.

Additional forms: Temporary Guardianship Order Temporary Letters of Guardianship

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