Guardianship is a court proceeding in which a judge gives a responsible adult custody of a minor child, power over the child’s estate, or both. Guardianships are often handled in probate court, but if a child is a dependent of the juvenile court, only the juvenile court may appoint a legal guardian for that child. Both types are discussed briefly below, although the resources recommended on this page primarily address probate guardianships.
Only minors may be the subject of a guardianship. If you need to obtain power over a disabled adult, a disabled adult’s estate, or both, you will need to seek a Conservatorship. For more information, see our Law 101 page on Seniors and Disability.