Legal guardian

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A Legal guardian is a legal system to protect a person who cannot make legal decisions and needs legal protection. There are some cases in which a person needs a legal guardian.

  • A minor child without parents
  • A person under age with no adult who has their parental authority (not parents)
  • An incompetent person announced by law. These people are called a ward. A ward is a person who needs legal protection by others.

A legal guardian law is conducted in these cases :

  • When parents of a person under age died or have lost.
  • When parents of a person under age are announced as an incompetent person
  • When parents of a person under age are deprived of their parental authority by law.
  • When a person(adult) is announced to be an incompetent person by law.

Appointing a legal guardian[change | change source]

Generally, a legal guardian is appointed by Courts. An incompetent person announced by law cannot be appointed as a guardian. A non-relative person can be a legal guardian. - that is, it doesn't have to be a relative by blood. For example, a child who has no parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters can have a guardian who is a distant cousin of the child. There are three kinds of guardian:

  • A designated guardian - It is applied only to the case of the minor (a person under age). A designated guardian is appointed by last testament of parent who has had parenting right of the child at last.
  • A legal guardian - When there's no designated guardian, a legal guardian is appointed based on the courts laws. It is conducted without any requests.
  • A selected guardian - When an incompetent person has no legal guardian, a selected guardian is appointed by the request of her/his relatives or related person to the courts.

Challenges and Solutions in Korea[change | change source]

In Korea, a lineal relation, a near relation (or kin) or an elder takes a preferential right to be appointed as a guardian. It causes the problem that guardian can have practical difficulty giving legal assistants. Also, the number of the guardian is limited to one and it is difficult for the guardian to help a Ward in both social -positioning function and financial function. It is too demanding for the guardian to perform both functions alone. In Korea, the pay of a guardian is from property of the Ward. But, if a ward may not have property enough to pay for a guardian, it makes the role of guardian negative or passive.

To solve these problems, the system that allows having more than two guardians should be introduced. Also, the government should support the pay for guardians.

Reference[change | change source]

Guardianship for Minors: Challenges and Solutions - Park Sang Ho(Associate Professor, Dept. of Low, Dong-Eui University), Yei, Cheol Heui(Doctor´s Course, Dept. of Low, Dong-Eui University)