What is a "Guardianship over the estate of a Minor"?
This type of guardianship is most frequently used when a minor receives an inheritance under a Will, is the designated beneficiary of a life insurance policy, or the minor has become eligible to receive the Social Security benefits of a deceased parent. Under such circumstances even a parent does not automatically become eligible to receive such benefits on behalf of his child. The bank, insurance company, or Social Security Administration will require the parent to obtain legal guardianship over the estate of the minor before any funds can be released.
Once the guardianship is approved, the guardian must then establish a bank account for the minor and deposit all funds into this account. The guardian can only expend money from this account with advance court permission. Normally, the judge will not allow the guardian to use the funds for the child's everyday expenses such a food and clothing. Parents are expected to pay for these items in the normal course of raising the child.
What is the process for obtaining a guardianship over the estate of a minor?
The proposed guardian(s) must file a Petition for Guardianship over the Estate of a Minor in which the need for the guardianship is explained. You will need to attach a copy of the official notice that the minor is to be a recipient of monetary funds or property. In addition, the petitioner must submit an inventory of the minor's assets and expenses. If the guardianship is approved, the guardian must file an annual accounting for the income received and the nature and amount of any expenditure made from the bank account.
Once the petition is filed, the matter will be set down for a hearing. The guardian(s) and usually the child must attend the hearing.
How much does a guardianship over the estate of a minor cost?
The legal fee is $1,200*. There are no court fees. This includes the preparation of the necessary court documents, the preparation of the inventory, and one court hearing.
* If you pay by credit card, there is a 3 1/2% processing fee. If you wire the payment, there is a $15 processing fee.
How can I get started with my guardianship over the estate of a minor case?
Simply click on the "Guardianship over the Estate of a Minor Worksheet" button and complete the form. It is important that you fill out the worksheet completely. Once you have completed the worksheet, call my office at 472-8472 and set up an appointment for a consultation. The consultation fee is $75 for up to 30 minutes. Be sure to bring the worksheet with you, a copy of the child's birth certificate, and the official notice that the minor is to be a recipient of monetary funds or property. Without a worksheet, I will not be able to meet with you.
>Click here to get started with a worksheet
This explanation sheet is provided for general information only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. You should discuss the specifics of your situation with a reputable attorney prior to taking any legal action. Neither this site nor anyone associated with this site shall be held liable for the use of the information contained in this document or for any decisions made based on the information provided herein.