The Dos and Don’ts of Temporary Guardianship Letters

Temporary guardianship letters are essential legal documents that temporarily assign guardianship rights over a minor or an incapacitated adult to another responsible adult. 

Drafting a comprehensive and clear temporary guardianship letter is crucial in ensuring that the individual in question receives the appropriate care and protection during the guardian’s absence. In this article, we will walk you through the dos and don’ts of creating an effective temporary guardianship letter.

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1. DO: Clearly Specify the Duration

DO ensure that the duration of the guardianship is clearly specified. It’s essential to establish when the guardianship will start and when it will end. Make sure that the dates are explicitly stated to avoid any potential misunderstandings or legal complications.

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Example: “This guardianship will commence on January 1, 2024, and will terminate on December 31, 2024, unless otherwise stated.”

  • Start Date: January 1, 2024
  • End Date: December 31, 2024

2. DON’T: Be Vague about Responsibilities

DON’T leave any room for ambiguity when it comes to the guardian’s responsibilities. Be explicit about what is expected of the guardian during the temporary guardianship period.

Example: Instead of writing, “The guardian will look after the child,” you could specify, “The guardian will be responsible for the child’s daily care, including feeding, bathing, and maintaining the child’s health and well-being.”

Responsibilities to Specify

  • Healthcare: Decision-making related to medical treatments
  • Education: Ensuring regular school attendance and homework completion
  • Daily Care: Including housing, nutrition, and safety

3. DO: Include Necessary Legal Details

DO include all essential legal details, such as the names and addresses of the guardian, the minor, or the incapacitated adult, and the biological parents or current legal guardians.


  • Guardian: Jane Doe, 123 Elm Street, City, State, Zip
  • Minor: John Smith, 456 Oak Street, City, State, Zip

4. DON’T: Forget About Consent and Signatures

DON’T forget to get the consent of all parties involved. This includes the temporary guardian, the current legal guardians, or parents, and, when applicable, the individual being placed under guardianship.

Required Signatures

  • Temporary Guardian
  • Biological Parents or Current Legal Guardians

5. DO: Seek Legal Advice

DO seek legal advice if you are uncertain about the guardianship letter’s contents or the legal implications. A lawyer specialized in family law can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation, ensuring that all legal bases are covered.

Professionals to Consult

  • Family Law Attorney
  • Legal Aid Services

6. DON’T: Ignore the Possibility of Revocation

DON’T ignore the possibility that the temporary guardianship might need to be revoked earlier than planned. Ensure there’s a clear process in place for revocation, specifying the conditions under which it can occur.

Revocation Criteria

  • Mutual Agreement of All Parties
  • Court Order
  • In the best interest of the individual under guardianship

By adhering to these dos and don’ts, you can create a robust temporary guardianship letter that stands up to legal scrutiny, ensures the well-being of the individual under guardianship, and protects the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved. 

Remember, when in doubt, seek professional legal advice to navigate the complexities of temporary guardianship effectively