You can probably see parents everywhere doing double takes over this, wondering
what the point is to filing for a guardianship of a child they already
claim as their own. Here's the thing: guardianships aren't necessarily
legally about the right to take care of the child himself or herself.
Sometimes guardianships can be about the
estate of the child, in essence, the actual finances.
Let's say a child, below the age of 18, either has a job, maybe an
inheritance, some form of income that would legally belong to that child.
The point of a guardianship of the estate then would be to ensure the
parent in charge of the child has a right to that inheritance or income
as the decision maker, and this is especially involving the case of a
child who is underage.
We'd see this instance happen often when huge amounts of property due
to last wills and testaments are directly handed over to a child, a child
who can't realistically manage all those funds correctly. Most states,
in fact, have a specific required amount pertaining to guardianships of
estates, which is at least $5K. If it ever does happen, a parent has the
right to file for guardianship of an estate, but it doesn't necessarily
mean a parent will obtain that right automatically.
There's a certain reluctance to just hand over assets like that, so
naturally there would be a hearing to determine the facts of the case
and consider accountability. Would the child be able to manage finances?
Does the adult have the ability to manage finances? What would the finances
and funds be spent or invested on? These are all perfectly valid questions
that would be asked. Be in the know, consult with an attorney, and determine
if you may need to file such a guardianship. In the long run, your child
might actually thank you.