Guardianship of a Child – Person and Estate Category: Guardianship and Conservatorship


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.

A specialized type of guardian is a guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is an adult appointed by the court to act on behalf of a minor in a lawsuit, since minors cannot represent themselves in most cases. It is usually a parent, but does not have to be.


Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit
Guardian Ad Litem Application – Civil/Family
Guardian Ad Litem Order- Civil/Family
Caring for Another’s Child: Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit

Frequently parents find that they need someone else, often a grandparent or other family member, to care for and make decisions for their children, but they do not want to establish a formal guardianship. There are a variety of factors that can attribute to why parents and the person who...

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Emancipation of Children

As children enter their teen years and gain more independence from parents, both may have questions regarding the process, legal requirements and consequences of emancipation. Emancipation is a legal way for children to become adults before they turn eighteen. Under California law, a minor may be emancipated by a court...

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Extra notice of hearing requirement in probate cases: Zoom videoconference information

If you are the petitioner in a probate, guardianship, or conservatorship case, you must serve a special Zoom videoconference notification along with the standard notice paperwork for upcoming hearings. Because of COVID-19, the court began holding hearings over Zoom videoconferencing. If you can’t use video, you can participate by telephone....

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SH@LL (Self Help @ the Law Library) (formerly Civil Self Help Center)
Accidents and Torts

SH@LL provides general information and basic assistance to people without attorneys on a variety of civil legal issues. All assistance is provided by telephone or Zoom videoconference. Visit “What We Help With” for a list of qualifying cases.

Eligibility: Must be a Sacramento County resident or have a qualifying case in the Sacramento County Superior Court.

Senior Legal Hotline
Estates Wills and Trusts

Free legal advice and assistance to those age 60+ on almost any civil issue. Common issues are tenants’ rights, estate planning, grandparent’s rights, pensions, and public benefits. No criminal law or assistance with conservatorships. Must have legal immigratnt status.

Family Law Facilitator
Courts and Procedure

Family law self help assistance, including forms assistance, file review, preparation of orders and judgments and other forms of procedural assistance. Also assists with Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, Elder Abuse Restraining Orders,  Probate Guardianship, and Limited Conservatorship cases. Eligibility: Must have family law case in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Capital Pro Bono Guardianship Assistance
Guardianship and Conservatorship

Capital Pro Bono can help you obtain guardianship over a minor child who is not your own. This may be necessary if the child’s parents are deceased or currently unable to care for the child. CPB can also provide advice if you need to get conservatorship over an adult. This may be needed to properly care for a disabled adult. CPB unfortunately cannot provide any help if the child or adult has money that needs to be managed.

Clearing Probate Calendar Notes for Guardianship or Conservatorship

Before a guardianship or conservatorship is granted, the court holds a hearing. In Sacramento, about 3 weeks before the hearing, the court posts "calendar notes" (also called "probate notes" or "probate calendar notes") in the online case file. These contain a list of papers and information that are missing, so...

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Declaration of Diligent Search: Guardianship-Dispensing with Notice to Missing Relative

If you do not know the name or address of a person you need to serve or cannot locate the person, Sacramento County Superior Court requires that you complete and file a Declaration of Diligent Search (PR/E-LP-010) for each person you cannot locate. You must complete each section of the...

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