Minor's Estate

Petitioning for Guardianship
The law also considers that a minor, defined as any person under the age of 18 years, is subject to the appointment of a guardian of the person or for the estate. Petitions for the guardianship of a minor usually arise in the following circumstances:
  1. The minor's parents are deceased or, if living, are unable or unwilling to care for the child
  2. The minor's parents wish the child to attend a school in an area where they do not reside
  3. The minor is to receive a sum of money or other property' usually in the form of an award arising out of a lawsuit or through an inheritance
When the minor's parents are deceased or are otherwise unwilling or unable to act as custodians, a petition may be brought by any adult seeking to be named guardian of the person. A copy of the petition and a notice of hearing on it must be mailed in advance to the surviving parents and served upon the minor.

Becoming a Guardian

If the Court concludes that the petitioning adult is a fit and proper person to be guardian of the minor, an Order will be entered appointing the petitioning party as guardian of the person. As guardian, that individual generally has the custody of the child and is required under the law to provide for the child's upbringing, including nurture and education. These same responsibilities are applicable to a guardian who is appointed when the request is based upon the desire of the minor and the parents for a residence in a particular school district. It is important to note that an order of appointment of guardian of a minor's person does not terminate the ongoing rights of the natural parents concerning that child.

Duties & Responsibilities

If a petition is brought for the appointment of a guardian of the estate of a minor, the purpose is generally to allow an adult to receive, invest, and spend funds or property that are awarded to the minor. This is necessary because the law does not recognize a minor as one who is able to handle his or her own financial affairs without such supervision. Generally, the guardian of a minor's estate is one or both of the parents. In any case, a guardian of the estate of a minor required to post a bond to guarantee that the property and funds of the minor will be properly supervised and spent only for the minor's benefit.

Guardianship Ending
The guardianship of a minor, whether it be that of the person or the estate, ends when the minor reaches 18 years of age, provided that proper application is made to the Court.