If you want to become a legal guardian of a child in Minnesota, this guide is for you. Learn what you need to know and how a lawyer can help here.
Do you want to have an incredible impact on a child’s life but are not sure how to apply to be a legal guardian?
Becoming a legal guardian to a child is one of the most important decisions you can make in your life. Children need supportive and reliable adults in their lives to thrive. As a legal guardian, you will be responsible for making significant decisions for the child (including financial and educational).
Continue reading to learn how to become a legal guardian in Minnesota.
What Is Legal Guardianship?
Legal guardianship is a process in which an individual is awarded guardianship of a minor or a dependent adult. A guardian has the legal ability to make decisions on behalf of the child or adult (ward). Decisions legal guardians can make include but are not limited to:
- Financial investments and the creation of trust funds
- What school a child attends
- Discipline and punishment
- what extra-curricular activities the child participates in
- A child’s daily schedule including meal times and bedtimes
- Medical decisions if necessary
The central goal of legal guardianship is to always have the ward’s best interest in mind. Legal guardians have a fiduciary duty to honor. Every decision a legal guardian makes should benefit the ward in the short term and long term.
It is important to note that minors do not have the right to make legal, financial, and medical decisions on their own. This is one of the reasons why having a legal guardian who has their best interest in mind is so imperative.
How Does An Individual Become A Legal Guardian?
Individuals can become legal guardians on a temporary or permanent basis. They will have to file extensive paperwork (including a petition) to be considered a candidate for legal guardianship.
Legal guardians in Minnesota must:
- Be 18 years or older (legal adult)
- Be physically able to care for a child or dependent adult
- Have considerable time to properly care for the ward
- Be financially secure enough to provide the care the ward needs (including using funds provided by parents for the child’s care)
Parents can select a legal guardian for their child in their will. In the event of a death, the chosen legal guardian can either accept or deny the responsibility given to them.
All legal guardians, even those selected by parents, must be appointed and approved by a judge in court. Individuals who are relatives or friends of the child or dependent adult’s family may be more likely to be selected due to the nature of the situation.
How Can Attornies Help With the Legal Guardianship Process
Attornies can be a great asset in the legal guardianship process. Not only will they assist in preparing the required paperwork, but will represent you in a court of law. They will fight on your behalf and demonstrate why you are a strong legal guardian candidate for the child in question.
Guardian attornies will explain the legal guardianship process to you and what the responsibilities of guardianship are. A guardian attorney is a dependable partner in the legal process as you seek guardianship of a minor child.
Reasons Parents Give Legal Guardianship of Their Child to Another Adult
Death is not the only reason why parents may give legal guardianship of their child to another adult (willfully or unwillingly). Other key reasons include:
- The parent has an alcohol or drug addiction and cannot properly care for their child
- The parent is incarcerated and in legal trouble
- The parent has a history of abuse (either physically or mentally)
A court can award legal guardianship of a child to another adult even without the parent’s approval. If a parent is deemed unfit to raise a child, the child will be removed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and may be appointed a legal guardian by the court. Of course, family members and friends (who can prove that they are reliable) can request guardianship of the child in question.
Why Become A Legal Guardian?
Having a positive influence on and caring for a child you love will not only change the child’s life but yours as well. Your positive influence will help set the child up for success in their adulthood.
Children need love, support, and attention to develop into who they are meant to become. As a responsible adult and their guardian, you will have the opportunity to teach them right from wrong and introduce them to a strong moral code. You will be able to educate them on hard work, perseverance, kindness, and compassion.
You will be responsible for their finances and can make wise investment decisions for them. Additionally, you can help set up a college or trust fund to provide some financial security for them when they reach adulthood.
Furthermore, you can help them develop their interests and passions and support them as they do what they love. From athletics to the arts, all kids have a passion they want to learn more about and pursue. You can make this possible for them.
Becoming a legal guardian means giving a child the care and love that they deserve.
Reach Out to Johnson/Turner Legal Today
At Johnson/Turner Legal, we proudly serve families in the Minnesota community every day. Our experienced team of attorneys has helped provide legal guardianship for countless children and dependent adults.
If you want to be a legal guardian for a child or dependent adult, our attorneys can assist and guide you throughout the process. We will fight for you and make sure the ward’s best interest is always in mind.
All Johnson/Turner Legal fees are based on a flat fee cost, rather than hourly rates. To learn more about our services and how to seek legal guardianship, we invite you to schedule a consultation today.