Nebraska Revised Statute 30-2613
Powers and duties of guardian of minor.
(1) A guardian of a minor has the powers and responsibilities of a parent who has not been deprived of custody of his or her minor and unemancipated child, except that a guardian is not legally obligated to provide from his or her own funds for the ward and is not liable to third persons by reason of the parental relationship for acts of the ward. In particular, and without qualifying the foregoing, a guardian has the following powers and duties:
(a) He or she must take reasonable care of his or her ward's personal effects and commence protective proceedings if necessary to protect other property of the ward.
(b) He or she may receive money payable for the support of the ward to the ward's parent, guardian or custodian under the terms of any statutory benefit or insurance system, or any private contract, devise, trust, conservatorship or custodianship. He or she also may receive money or property of the ward paid or delivered by virtue of section 30-2603. Any sums so received shall be applied to the ward's current needs for support, care and education, except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section. He or she must exercise due care to conserve any excess for the ward's future needs unless a conservator has been appointed for the estate of the ward, in which case such excess shall be paid over at least annually to the conservator. Sums so received by the guardian are not to be used for compensation for his or her services except as approved by order of court. A guardian may institute proceedings to compel the performance by any person of a duty to support the ward or to pay sums for the welfare of the ward.
(c) The guardian is empowered to facilitate the ward's education, social, or other activities and to authorize medical or other professional care, treatment, or advice. A guardian is not liable by reason of this consent for injury to the ward resulting from the negligence or acts of third persons unless it would have been illegal for a parent to have consented. A guardian may consent to the marriage or adoption of his or her ward.
(d) A guardian must report the condition of his or her ward and of the ward's estate which has been subject to his or her possession or control, as ordered by court on petition of any person interested in the minor's welfare or as required by court rule, and upon termination of the guardianship settle his or her accounts with the ward or his or her legal representatives and pay over and deliver all of the estate and effects remaining in his or her hands or due from him or her on settlement to the person or persons who shall be lawfully entitled thereto.
(2) The appointment of a guardian for a minor shall not relieve his or her parent or parents, liable for the support of such minor, from their obligation to provide for such minor. For the purposes of guardianship of minors, the application of guardianship income and principal after payment of debts and charges of managing the estate, in relationship to the respective obligations owed by fathers, mothers, and others, for the support, maintenance and education of the minor shall be:
(a) The income and property of the father and mother of the minor in such manner as they can reasonably afford, regard being had to the situation of the family and to all the circumstances of the case;
(b) The guardianship income, in whole or in part, as shall be judged reasonable considering the extent of the guardianship income and the parents' financial ability;
(c) The income and property of any other person having a legal obligation to support the minor, in such manner as the person can reasonably afford, regard being had to the situation of the person's family and to all the circumstances of the case; and
(d) The guardianship principal, either personal or real estate, in whole or in part, as shall be judged for the best interest of the minor, considering all the circumstances of the minor and those liable for his or her support.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, the court may from time to time authorize the guardian to use so much of the guardianship income or principal, whether personal or real estate, as it may deem proper, considering all the circumstances of the minor and those liable for his or her support, if it is shown that (a) an emergency exists which justifies an expenditure, or (b) a fund has been given to the minor for a special purpose and the court can, with reasonable certainty, ascertain such purpose.
(4) The court may require a guardian to furnish a bond in an amount and conditioned in accordance with the provisions of section 30-2640.
(5) A guardian shall not change a ward's place of abode to a location outside of the State of Nebraska without court permission.
- Laws 1974, LB 354, § 231, UPC § 5-209;
- Laws 2011, LB157, § 35.
In deciding whether to assess all or any part of a successful petitioner's costs and fees against a minor ward's estate, a court should consider the usual factors for determining reasonable attorney fees, as set out in In re Guardianship & Conservatorship of Donley, 262 Neb. 282, 631 N.W.2d 839 (2001). In addition, under subdivision (1)(b) of this section, the court must consider whether an assessment of costs against the ward's estate would be detrimental to his or her long term interests. In re Guardianship of Brydon P., 286 Neb. 661, 838 N.W.2d 262 (2013).
When a court determines that a petitioner seeks a guardianship appointment for a minor in good faith and that the guardianship is in the minor's best interests, subdivision (1)(b) of this section authorizes the court to assess a successful petitioner's reasonable costs, including attorney fees, against the minor's estate, if an estate exists. A court may also assess the minor's attorney fees and guardian ad litem fees against his or her estate when the court has determined that these appointments are necessary to ensure that the minor's interests are adequately represented. But this section does not authorize a court to assess a successful petitioner's costs against another party. In re Guardianship of Brydon P., 286 Neb. 661, 838 N.W.2d 262 (2013).