Guardian's Duties

Overview

If you are petitioning or are currently the guardian of the minor's person and/or estate, review the Guardianship of Minor Info Sheet to learn about all of the regulations and procedures in place. This guide is designed to inform prospective guardians of the requirements for obtaining and terminating a guardianship of the person, including important court documents and procedures. Follow the procedures listed on the Minor's Estate page.


Guardian of the Person

A guardian of the person of a minor must make arrangements for the minor's care, comfort, health, and education, and consent to any medical care or treatment the minor may need. The Court may require a guardian of the person to make a report to the court periodically about the minor's mental, physical, and social condition, their current living arrangements, and any medical, educational, and other professional services the minor has received.

Review the Guardianship of Minor Info Sheet to learn about all of the regulations and procedures in place. This guide is designed to inform prospective guardians of the requirements for obtaining and terminating a guardianship of the person, including important court documents and procedures. 


Guardian of the Estate

A guardian of the estate of a minor must 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 legal parents. 

Bonds: Unless excused by the court, every bond must be guaranteed by at least two individual sureties or by a corporate surety company. A surety guarantees that a guardian will faithfully discharge the duties of guardian. A surety may have to pay back money that a guardian loses, steals, misuses, or mismanages up to the amount of the bond.

If two individuals act as sureties, the amount of the bond must be double the value of the minor's personal estate. The individual sureties must sign a notarized list of their assets which must be attached to the bond.

If a corporate surety is used, the amount of the bond is 1.5 times the value of the minor's personal estate. A surety company will charge the estate an annual premium like a premium on an insurance policy.

Surety on the bond may be excused if the money in the estate is deposited either:

  • In trust with a trust company
  • In a government insured account in a bank, savings and loan association, or credit union, subject to withdrawal only upon court order
  • In United States obligations deposited for safekeeping in an approved depository, subject to withdrawal only upon court order.

Inventory: A guardian of the estate must file an inventory with the court within 60 days after the guardian is appointed, listing all the minor's assets. (The requirement of filing an inventory is excused if the minor's money has all been deposited in an account subject to withdrawal only upon court order.)


Certificate of Depository: If money is deposited in an account subject to withdrawal only upon court order, the guardian of the estate must file with the clerk a receipt from the bank. The receipt is called a certificate of depository.

Withdrawals of Minor's Funds:  If the minor's money is deposited in a government insured account subject to withdrawal only upon court order, a petition must be filed with the court any time a parent or guardian wants to withdraw any money to spend for the minor's needs.

Annual Accounts: The guardian of the estate must file an account with the court once a year showing all money received and all money spent and the cash remaining on hand at the end of the accounting period. The guardian must appear in court to get the accounting approved by the Judge. Call the Probate Clerk to get a court date for approval of the account when it is ready.

The requirement of filing an account is excused if the minor's money has all been deposited in an account subject to withdrawal only upon court order.

Settlement of a Claim for Personal Injuries: A guardian of the estate must obtain the approval of the court to settle a personal injury claim of a minor by filing a petition with the court. A form petition for court approval is available in the Clerk's Office. A report from the attending physician stating the nature and extent of the injury must be filed with the petition. The minor must appear in court on the hearing date. The court may appoint an independent attorney to investigate the settlement and to report back to the court.