Guardianships | Estate Planning | Tressler & Associates
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212 N. Castle Heights Ave | Lebanon, TN or 2323 21st Ave South STE 506 | Nashville, TN

women hugging her child in a guardianship.


Children depend on the adults in their lives to provide care, support, and guidance. While a minor’s parents typically fill this role, this is not always the case. For many reasons, a parent may not be able to take on the full responsibilities of managing their child’s affairs and making their day-to-day decisions. However, just because the parent is unable, does not mean that the child can or should go without an adult with their best interests at heart. When a parent cannot care for their child, guardianships can help ensure that the child has a responsible adult watching over them and making decisions on their behalf. 

If you believe there is a minor child in your life who requires a guardian to manage their affairs, you need a Tennessee guardianship attorney. Tressler & Associates can help you through this process to ensure the child is cared for properly. 

What is a Guardianship?

A guardianship is a legal process where an adult is appointed to manage a minor child’s affairs when their parents are unable to do so themselves. This is unlike having custody of a child or adopting the child. In some cases, a guardianship may only be temporary while the parent is unable to care for the child themselves. Parents also may not be required to give up their parental rights if their child needs a guardianship. A guardian may be responsible for the child as well as their property if the child has any.

Guardians need to be appointed by the court. The court needs to determine whether or not the adult is responsible enough to care for the child and who would be in the child’s best interest to serve as their guardian. While family members may petition to be the guardian of a child, it is not required that they be a relative, although close family members may be given priority. If the parent listed a guardian in their will, this individual may also be given priority. 

When are Guardianships Necessary?

There are many occasions that could warrant the need for a guardianship. A guardianship may be necessary to ensure a child is cared for in the following situations:

  • The parent is deceased.
  • The parent is in jail.
  • The parent has abandoned the child.
  • The parent is mentally or physically unable to care for the child. 

What is the Role of a Guardian?

A guardian’s main responsibility is to act in the best interest of the child. Guardians may have many responsibilities in their role including the following:

  • Provide the child with a place to live.
  • Enroll the child in school and make decisions regarding their education.
  • Make decisions regarding the child’s medical care.
  • Ensure their day-to-day needs are met, such as providing food and clothing.
  • In some cases, the guardian may manage the child’s finances and assets, although someone else may also be appointed to do so.

Contact Tressler & Associates for Help Establishing Guardianships

If you have a minor child in your life, you want to ensure they receive the care and support they need. When there are concerns over the parent’s ability to provide this, it may be necessary that you, or another responsible adult, file a petition to become their guardian. This process can be complicated, but you want to feel confident that you’re doing all that you can to have an adult who cares about the child’s well-being managing their affairs.

The Tennessee estate planning attorneys can help you through this process. Contact us today to learn more about guardianships.


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