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A guardianship of the estate allows the guardian to make financial decisions for a child and is often filed when a minor is to receive a large monetary gift or inheritance. Both parents and non-parents can become guardians of the estate for children. In guardianships of the estate, the court may require that the funds be placed into a blocked account in which withdrawals are allowed only with prior court approval.

The law requires that the court conduct an investigation of anyone seeking to become a guardian. There is a fee this investigation.

Temporary Guardianship

On occasion, a temporary guardianship may be appropriate if there is an emergency that requires an immediate appointment, prior to the guardianship hearing date. A petition for temporary guardianship can be filed at the same time as the petition for limited or general guardianship. It may not be filed separately from a guardianship. A Petition for Appointment of a Temporary Guardian should have all information supporting the need for emergency orders, including copies of all relevant medical, police, or Adult Protective Services reports.


Once appointed by the court, a guardian must complete several steps before the Clerk of the Court can issue Letters of Guardianship. The Letters of Guardianship are the documents that verify you have been legally appointed to act as the guardian for a child. The steps are:

  1. Complete and retain a copy of the form Duties of Guardian and Acknowledgment of Receipt (Judicial Council Form GC-248). This form provides a summary of your duties and responsibilities;
  2. View the film, “A Real Challenge - the ABC’s of Guardianship”;
  3. Complete local form FL033/PR033 - Declaration of Proposed Guardian’s Viewing of Film to verify that you have viewed the video and file it with the Clerk of the Court.

Additional instructions and forms required to open a guardianship case can be accessed by clicking here.

Further assistance is available from the California Courts Online Self-Help Center.

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