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If you need legal assistance regarding guardianships matters, contact us online or call us at (615) 800-7096 today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

Our children mean everything to us. And as parents, we do everything we can to protect them. But unfortunately, we can’t always be there to care for them. If this happens to you, do you know who will be caring for your children?

The family law attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC understand how hard this decision may be. That’s why we will guide you through the process of finding the right person to become the guardian of your children should anything happen to you. Whether it’s illness, death, or some other reason, rest assured that your child will be under the care of a guardian of your choosing.

What is Guardianship?

Like conservatorship, guardianship is a legal process where the court will appoint an individual to either partially or fully supervise your children who are under the age of 18. The appointed guardian will have the ability to make parental decisions regarding the child, such as what school he/she should go to, health care issues, and what to do with the child’s property.

Some examples of when a guardian is needed for your child include a parent who either passed away or has a serious illness; a parent who is incarcerated; or a parent who may not be mentally or physically able to care for the child any longer.

A guardianship may also be required to protect the assets of a minor child that has inherited property through Estate Administration or other litigation. A guardian may be necessary for instances when a child’s parent or parents have terminated their parental rights or the child’s parents have passed away leaving no custodian.

How the Court Chooses a Guardian

Any person who believes a guardianship is necessary may petition a Tennessee court for the appointment of a guardian. When appointing a guardian, the court will take the best interests of the child in determining who is the best candidate. The court usually first looks to the parent or parents of the minor. However, if both parents are unable to act as a guardian, the court will then the closest relative of the child.

In the case of a parent that passed away, the person who has been designated in a will to be the guardian. However, if there is no will or no one has been selected by the deceased parent, the court will look to the adult siblings of the minor. If there are none, the closest relative of the child will be selected. In some cases, close friends may be selected as the guardian if there are no other available options.

Typically, a court-appointed guardian will be required to file annual documents with the court to ensure that the protected person is being taken care of medically and financially. The annual requirements can be time-consuming and confusing. If you need assistance with completing an Annual Accounting/Status Report, call one of our experienced attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard.

Let Our Guardianship Lawyers Help

Now is the time to protect your children in case something happens to you. If you do not have the right person in mind to care for your children when you’re not around, our Tennessee guardianship lawyers are prepared to help guide you through the process. Our team of family and estate lawyers will make sure your child’s future is taken care of.

If you need to set up a guardianship for your minor children, don’t wait much longer. Contact Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC now for more information.