Guardian/Conservator Nominations for Children
It’s terrifying to think about a situation where your own children would need a legal guardian to care for them. But we know that sometimes it is necessary, and if so, you want your children to be cared for by a guardian you have chosen. A court can appoint a guardian, but knowing next to nothing about your family situation, there is no guarantee the person appointed would be someone you find to be appropriate.
We can help.
The attorneys at Casey Lundregan Burns can create an estate plan that appoints the right guardian for your minor children. We can also help if you need to file for guardianship or conservatorship of a loved one.
When Does a Guardianship Take Effect
If you prepare legal documents to appoint a guardian for your minor child, that guardianship does not become effective unless:
- The parent making the appointment dies
- The court determines that the appointing parent is incapacitated, or
- A doctor has examined the appointing parent and determined that they are not able to care for the child
If one of these events occurs, the guardianship takes effect immediately, although the guardian is supposed to appear in court within 30 days to provide the appropriate legal documents designating their nomination and acceptance.
Parents can also consent to guardianship.
The Role of a Guardian and Conservator
In traditional legal terms, a guardian cares for an individual’s personal needs while a conservator manages an individual’s financial matters. For a minor, both of these roles are often filled by the guardian. However, if the child has inherited substantial assets, the court may appoint a separate conservator to ensure the financial interests are managed advantageously.
The guardian takes on responsibility for all the child’s needs, including health care, housing, food, and education. While the guardian has a duty to act in the child’s best interests, they are able to use the child’s financial resources to pay for essentials. Every guardian in Massachusetts is supposed to submit an annual report reviewing significant changes and the minor’s current financial situation.
Can Someone Contest Your Nominated Guardian?
Certain individuals may have the right to contest the appointment. If the other parent is living and their parental rights have not been terminated, they can object. If you know the child’s other parent lacks the ability to parent properly, we can help prepare evidence to support the appointment of your chosen guardian to keep your child safe.
If the child is over the age of 14 or has lived with someone else, they also have the right to contest the named guardian. However, once the guardian formally accepts the role, the child or their former caregiver have only a limited time to object. Of course, if problems were to arise, the court always has the power to designate a different guardian if it is found to be in the child’s best interests.
Let Casey Lundregan Burns Protect Your Children with the Right Guardianship Nomination
Hopefully, it will never be necessary to appoint a guardian for your children. But it is better to be prepared with a nomination just in case.
The team at Casey Lundregan Burns has been safeguarding families for over 90 years, so we understand the most efficient and effective strategies for comprehensive protection. Contact us today to secure your child’s future.