What is a Legal Guardian?

In Australia they are known as a Testamentary Guardian. A child’s Testamentary or Will Guardian has the same responsibilities to care for the child as a parent would. That means the guardian has full legal and physical custody of the child and can make all the decisions about the physical care of the child that a parent would make. A guardian can be anyone: relatives, friends of the family, or other people suitable to raise the child can ask to be legal guardians.

The guardian is responsible for the child’s care, including the child’s:
• Food, clothing and shelter
• Safety and protection
• Physical and emotional growth
• Medical and dental care
• Education and any special needs
The guardian is also responsible for supervision of the child and its actions.

NB : In Australia nomination of a Child Guardian in a Will is NOT legally binding and is generally subject to ratifications by the Family Court. Furthermore, State/territory authorities may also intervene under their legislation.

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