How to appoint a Los Angeles Guardian Ad Litem

In order to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem in Los Angeles California, you must first know the type of  Guardian Ad Litem you will need.  Depending on whether you have a civil case, or a case involving a probate or trust, the forms and procedures for appointment will vary.

When is a Guardian Ad Litem Needed in Los Angeles?

A court in California can appoint a Guardian Ad Litem  to represent the interests of someone who lacks capacity in a case.

Most commonly use, in a civil case, a guardian ad litem may be appointed in any case when it is deemed by the court in which the action or proceeding is prosecuted, or by a judge thereof, expedient to appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the person lacking legal capacity to make decisions, or person for whom a conservator has been appointed, notwithstanding that the person may have a guardian or conservator of the estate and may have appeared by the guardian or conservator of the estate.

In a probate and trust case, the court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem and a Conservator, or a Special Trustee.

What type of Guardian Ad Litem do I need?

A. A civil case Guardian Ad Litem is appointed in civil cases.

b.  A probate or trust case Guardian Ad Litem is appointed in probate and trust cases.  The probate court has a list of Guardian Ad Litems who are appointed.  A party may apply for appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem.

Many people ask us this question:  How do you get a Guardian Ad Litem?

Guardian Ad Litem Forms in California:

In Civil Cases in California, you can apply for appointment of a GAL, and use the civil application to get the Guardian Ad Litem appointed.  Here is a link to the civil form.

In a Probate or Trust case, you can ask for appointment of a GAL, by a.Petition, rather than an  application to the probate Court.  The court can also appoint a GAL on its own motion, if the court deems that necessary.   This it the link to the Probate Guardian Ad Litem Petition form.

Who can I have appointed as a Guardian Ad Litem?

In most cases, you can ask that anyone be appointed as a Guardian Ad Litem, so long as he or she does not have an adverse interest to the incapacitated person.  In Probate cases, the court prefers persons on its own Guardian Ad Litem list, who have training to act as gaurdians ad litem.

Are there differences between a Guardian Ad Litem and a Conservator?

A Guardian Ad Litem generally manages one case.   A Conservator can manage the case, but can also manage the other assets of the conservaee, and his health.   A Guardian Ad Litem cannot make medical decision for an incapacitated person, nor can he sell the property of the incapacitated person, unless there is court order or other instrument that authorizes him to do so.    A Guardian Ad Litem is generally not bonded.   A Conservator of an estate must be bonded.  A Guardian Ad Litem who settles a case, must so settle with a court order and confirmation hearing.    There are cases where there is both a conervator and a guardian ad litem when there re potentials for conflict by the conservator.    Note that conservatorships are broader than appointments of GALs.   The Guardian Ad Litem in only appointed for the administration of litigation of cases.   A conservator on the other hand can manage other aspects of a disabled person’s life.

What happens at the end of the case to the Guardian Ad Litem?

A Guardian Ad Litem who has the power to litigate may settle the case subject to court approval.  If the disabled person dies, a Guardian Ad Litem can ask the court for further authority to complete the case, to deliver the funds to the administrator or executor.

Who pays the fees of a Guardian Ad Litem?

The Guardian Ad Litem applies to the court for his or her fees and the court will order his or her fees to be paid from the assets of the disabled person.

How is a Guardian of the Estate different from a Guardian Ad Litem?

A guardian of the estate when appointed may come into possession of ANY money of the minor.   A Guardian Ad Litem runs a legal case and no more than that.   A Guardian of the estate has more duties than that of a Guardian Ad Litem.

Mina Sirkin is Guardian Ad Litem and a Board Certified Specialist attorney in Probate, Trust Law and Estate Planning.  Mina Sirkin is on the court’s GAL panel and is regularly appointed as a Guardian Ad Litem in Los Angeles.  Call 818.340.4479 or Email: [email protected]

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