Tutorship in Louisiana
What is Tutorship?
In Louisiana, tutorship is what other states would refer to as guardianship, and it describes the person who is legally responsible for the care of a minor child. Tutors are often appointed when a child's parents get divorced or when one parent dies. This is an important aspect of estate planning, as it prevents the court from determining the future of your child should something unexpected happen.
The state has several different tutorship options based on the circumstances at hand. The Law Office of Wendra J. Moran can help you understand the various possibilities and how they may affect your family. As a Baton Rouge estate planning attorney, I am familiar with the laws applicable to tutorships and can capably guide you through this complex process. Preserving your wishes is my ultimate goal and I believe together we can create a plan that gives you confidence.
What are the Different Types of Tutorships?
The tutor of a child can be parents, other relatives, or court-appointed caregivers – it ultimately depends on the events that have occurred and the parents' estate plan. Tutors have certain responsibilities, including financial and personal duties, so the appointed individual must be qualified to care for the child.
The four types of tutorship in Louisiana are as follows:
- Natural tutorship: This occurs when parents get divorced or when one parent dies. In the case of divorce, parents with custody are considered the natural tutors of the child. Should one parent die, the surviving parent is the rightful tutor of the child.
- Tutorship by will: When the last surviving parent dies, a tutor is appointed based on the instructions set forth in the parent's will.
- Tutorship by the effect of law: Takes place when both parents have died and neglected to name a tutor by will. The court will appoint a grandparent or other relative as the tutor of the child.
- Dative tutorship: When no qualified relatives are able to step in for the deceased parents, the court appoints a dative tutor, someone who is not related, to care for the child.
Tutorships for Children with Special Needs
As a parent of a child with special needs, you will have unique concerns regarding your child. In many cases, you will want to request continuing tutorship or permanent tutorship for your child. Under Louisiana State law, your child will be deemed capable of managing his or her own affairs. By requesting continuing or permanent tutorship, your child with special needs can receive tutorship beyond the age of 18.
The procedure is as follows:
- Parents will make a formal request to the court
- An attorney will submit the request, the concurrence of the coroner, and the supporting documents
- The judge will sign Letters – documents that grant parents the authority to act within their child's best interests
You can request continuing or permanent tutorship from the court when your child is between the ages of 15 and 18 years old. When your child turns 18, he or she is considered an adult and assumed to have the capacity to make decisions and act independently of a guardian.
Once the child is 18, the parents of the child with special needs would have to file for an Interdiction Proceeding. This requires a formal hearing before a judge with expert witnesses and a questioning of the child. Regardless of your circumstance, we encourage you to reach out to our firm to discuss your case. For more information, click here.
Achieve Your Goals with a Baton Rouge Estate Planning Lawyer
Your children are everything to you and the last thing you want is for the court to have the final say in their future. Creating a proper will can prevent this from happening and the sooner you do so, the better. It is impossible to predict what the future holds, but a carefully drafted estate plan can give you peace of mind no matter what occurs.
My firm offers personalized legal assistance as you work through appointing a tutor. I can guide you through the process, get in touch today!
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