GUARDIANSHIP The need for guardianship and the need to appeal to the family court arises when a person cannot permanently or temporarily take care of his own affairs , wholly or partially . So, it is necessary to appoint to that same person, a guardian who will take care of his or hers affairs .The scope of the custodian's role in relation to physical affairs and financial affairs is subject to the decision of the court to reduce or enlarge the authority of guardian. After the court approves the guardianship, the guardian has to be under a supervision of the General Guardian of the State. The guardian supervisor, sees to it that the appointed guardian is doing his job properly , taking care for body and property.
The 1962 Legal Capacity and Guardianship Act.
Guardianship is the right and the duty to take care of a ward of court , a person, especially a minor, or one legally incapable of managing his own affairs, placed under the control and protection of a guardian or of a court.
A guardian is responsible to protect a ward of court interests and business and to ensure his rights will be guarded .
A guardian during the line of duty must act for the benefit of a ward of court in the most dedicated manner and with impeccable integrity. It's very important to stress that there are some actions that the guardian is not permitted to take, although he was appointed by the court, unless he receives specific approval from the court for these actions.
Categories of guardianship
Body Guardianship -
Usually involves guardianship of minors, of people with special needs and of demented elderly who are unable to take their own decisions . Body Guardianship usually involves medical matters, including signing in the name of the ward of court consent for surgery and other medical procedures
Involves decisions in the field of property and money, for people unfit to make decisions. The guardian is acting on behalf of the ward of court handling the property for the benefit of ward of court. The guardian has an duty to report to the General Guardian of the State at least once a year.
Under the 1962 Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law parents are the natural guardians of their minor children. This legislation defines and describes the role of parents in Israeli law. It says : “ Parental Guardianship includes the duty and right to care for the minor’s needs, including his education, his studies, his ability to work and to have an occupation and job, and also preservation of his property, its management and development; and relating to this, permission to hold the child and to decide on his place of residence and the authority to represent him” (section 15)
In case of separated parents, both biological parents are the minor’s natural guardians, although only one of them , usually the mother, may be declared the parent with custody, and the non-custodial parent is the one who has to pay maintenance. Even if the mother files a plea to become the sole guardian of the minor, and the father agrees to this, it is unlikely that the court will accept this, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as his prolonged absence from the country and lack of interest in the child. Furthermore, even if the court agrees to the mother becoming the minor’s sole guardian, this will not free the father of his maintenance obligation towards the child.
Application for appointing a guardian.
In most cases a concerned family member is involved, in order to appoint someone that will take care of his relative legally. It is recommended to go through the process with a lawyer, who is an expert in guardianship cases.
Since appointing a guardian means denying someone the right to legal freedom- a right that is fundamental - the court does not always agree to appoint a guardian, and not always the one that is sought to be appointed , is actually the one to be appointed.
It is recommended to use the services of an expert in family law that will know how to deal with different delicate problems, which arise in almost every case . The lawyer will see to it , that when the application is submitted, all the necessary documents are attached, in order to strengthen the necessity for appointment of guardian.
There are also cases in which the welfare authorities appeal to court in order to appoint a public guardian such as the general guardian of the state . In these cases family members who feel that they are able and qualified to serve as a guardian, may appeal to the Court with an objection . In that case , members of family need a professional lawyer to represent them in these proceedings.
Counselor Haya Rudnitzky Drori will give you legal advice and represent you on the legal procedure for guardianship.