Civic Center, Hall of Justice, Room 113
8:30am - 3:30pm
Guardianship is a court process in which someone other than a parent is given custody of a child or when
a parent or other person is given authority over a child's property. The child, called the "minor" or
"ward," must be under the age of 18. A legal guardian is an adult the Court chooses to be responsible for
and care for a child, manage the child's property, or both.
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 the
funds to 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. A court
investigator performs this investigation and there is a fee for this investigation.
Temporary guardianship enables a person to have legal guardianship of a minor prior to the general guardianship
hearing. It cannot be filed separately from a guardianship. There must be an urgent need to justify a temporary
guardianship. Contact the Probate Examiner at (415) 444-7315 to set an ex parte hearing to be appointed as
The instructions and forms required to open a guardianship case can be accessed by
Further assistance is available from the
California Courts Online Self-Help Center.
The Probate Court has jurisdiction over the following types of matters:
- Decedent's Estate and Trusts
- Conservatorships [including Limited Conservatorships (developmentally disabled persons) and
Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS) Conservatorships)]
- Other Probate Case Types (including Commitments of Developmentally Challenged Persons; Establishment
of Fact of Birth, Death or Marriage; Minor's Compromise; and Riese Hearings)