Tips For Temporary Guardianship

Are You Prepared for Temporary Guardianship?


There are a few reasons you may need to become a temporary guardian. This legal arrangement allows you to manage someone else’s financial, personal and medical matters for a set period. It is something you may voluntarily take on for someone in your life who needs your help, or a court could appoint you as the temporary guardian for a minor.

The difference between a guardianship and a temporary guardianship is the length of time it remains in force. A guardianship is usually indefinite, while a temporary guardianship typically ends after a set date, and you’re no longer able to manage someone else’s affairs. The temporary nature of this type of guardianship might get you through a health crisis or give you control of a minor child’s assets until that child becomes an adult.

Why Should You Form Temporary Guardianship?

You can form a temporary guardianship for many objectives:

  • Incapacitation: An individual in question has become incapacitated and is no longer able to make his own legal decisions. Incapacity might be a temporary state, so the guardianship could also be temporary, at least until you know better if this person will recover.
  • Substitution: You can form a temporary guardianship in case the person’s usual guardian isn’t available for some certain period, for instance, if the child’s guardian is leaving the state for a certain time period. You may need to take over the legal responsibility for an elderly loved one or an incapacitated adult while her regular guardian takes a respite.
  • Emergency: A temporary guardian can be appointed in an emergency when there’s no time to go through the process of selecting a permanent guardian, or the regular guardian is unavailable. A temporary guardianship is sometimes referred to as emergency guardian, although it does not have to take place under emergency conditions.

In various jurisdictions, a temporary guardian can only be appointed to represent an estate holder who is at serious risk of death. In some states, you must present evidence that no other person is available to make decisions for the debilitated person before a temporary guardianship can be granted.


How Long Can a Temporary Guardianship Last?

State laws will generally set a period for the court-appointed temporary guardianship. In most cases, a temporary guardianship can last 60 days. The length of time that a temporary guardianship is in place can vary and is often based on the situation. In cases of emergency or medical debility, you can only speculate about how long you will need the guardianship. If the situation continues without resolution, a permanent guardianship might be sought.

When a temporary guardianship is set up in advance by the estate holder, it’s more like a contract. The period can be set and included in the documents. If the subject of a temporary guardianship is not able to participate in this process, the court employs different rules to protect that person. The time limitations on a temporary guardianship should be realistic and reasonable.

Usually, the temporary guardianships last only until the guardian can complete a task. For instance, suppose a temporary guardian was appointed with the sole objective of filing a person’s tax detail. When the task gets completed, that temporary guardianship is over, and you must form a new one in case of any new tasks.


Should I Hire a Lawyer for the Temporary Guardianship Proceedings?

If you’re concerned about a temporary guardianship, you can consult a family law attorney or one who specializes in estate planning. Even if you’re not involved in the guardianship, you could bring a claim against a guardian if you believe he’s not carrying out the terms of the guardianship.

You may also want to consult an attorney if you wish to take over guardianship of someone, even on a temporary basis. There are many documents to fill out to make a guardianship or temporary guardianship legal. The guidance of a qualified attorney may help you through this process.

As with most legal proceedings, temporary guardianship requires a notary. Documents that are sent to the court need to be notarized. Every witness statement and other piece of evidence you gather to support your filing for temporary guardianship will need to be notarized to be credible.


Temporary Guardianship: An Overview

When a minor child’s parents live with and have legal responsibility for that child, a legal term used is “custody.” When someone other than the child’s parents has custody and legal responsibility for the child, it’s called “guardianship.” The guardian is someone other than the child’s parents who:

  • Has legal custody of the child
  • Has the right to make all the decisions about a child
  • Is legally responsible for that child

The temporary guardianship of the child is different from testamentary guardianship because:

  • Testamentary Guardian: A person named in the parent’s will to become the child’s guardian in case the parents or a parent becomes deceased
  • Temporary Guardian: Could be named by the child’s parents or by the court


How Long Can the Temporary Guardianship Continue?

Temporary guardianships end when the cause of temporary guardianship ends — for instance, with the end of hospitalization or the period of imprisonment. In many cases, temporary guardianships can be given by court order, particularly in case the conditions are critical and a child needs a guardian immediately. Then, the temporary guardian will take responsibility for the child until a long-term or enduring arrangement can be put in place.


How Does the Parent Arrange a Temporary Guardianship?

Initially, that parent needs to make sure temporary guardianship is required. Discussing the circumstances with a knowledgeable law attorney might be helpful. Once a child reaches the legal age of majority, they don’t require a guardian unless they’re incapacitated. A child over the age of 18 can participate in the guardianship arrangements and must agree to the terms.

If a parent shares guardianship with their minor’s other parent, temporary guardianship with another adult isn’t required. If the temporary guardian is required, you must choose an adult who is reliable. The temporary guardian should be a friend or family member your child already knows well — preferably somebody they’ve spent extensive time with.


Choose a Notary Service You Can Count On

When you’re ready to file for temporary guardianship, it’s a good idea to schedule a mobile notary. Gather all the documents required and plan a time when the people involved can come together and sign everything. Having a notary there will make this process easier — that way it can all be completed at once. After the documents are signed and notarized, you’ll only have to file them with the court to be official.

If you’re considering a temporary guardianship, contact Superior Notary Services to schedule a mobile notary. We’ll send an experienced notary to your location to help you complete the process by notarizing all signatures.

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