When an individual is in need of special protection (such as a minor child or mentally disabled person), Alabama courts generally have the power to appoint a guardian for that individual. A legal guardian has the legal authority, as well as a duty, to care for the personal and property interests of another person. In the probate context, the guardianship issue often arises when a child inherits property and the judge appoints a person who is not the parent of the child with the power to manage the child’s property. This is referred to as a “Guardianship of the Estate.”
Guardianship entails continual supervision by the court. It can become rather onerous in that every decision the guardian makes for the child requires court approval. Another similar option is custodianship, which entails basically the same duties but comes with a presumption in favor of the custodian and requires court approval of a decision only when the minor or an interested party complains. A guardianship or custodianship will generally last until either the child turns 18 or is adopted. There are a number of different situations in which a guardianship or custodianship may be appropriate. Our Birmingham legal team can assist you whether you live in Irondale, Helena, Pell City, or anywhere in the Birmingham area. Contact us today at 205-502-2000 to discuss your guardianship needs.