How does a guardianship end?

How does a guardianship end?

A guardianship or conservatorship can continue for as long as necessary. 

But how does it end? There are numerous scenarios that can lead to either the end or the modification of a guardianship or conservatorship.

Termination of the guardian's authority:

A Child turns 18:  For a guardianship and/or conservatorship for a child, the authority of the guardian/conservator ends when the child becomes eighteen (18) years old. 

The Guardian Resigns:  A guardian can also resign his or her position – the resignation becomes official once the court accepts the resignation.

On the death of the ward:  Once the incapacitated person passes away the authority of the guardian ends.  The one exception is if there is no one to take care of the funeral and burial expenses of the person.  If that happens, the court can approve those expenses.

Termination by the court:  The court can order the termination of the guardianship or conservatorship.

When will the court order the end of a guardianship or conservatorship?

The authority of a guardian or conservator comes from the appointment of the court.  The court can also terminate those powers under the following circumstances:

The estate is exhausted:  A conservatorship is needed to manage the assets of a disabled person.  If those assets are exhausted the conservatorship is no longer necessary.  When this happens, the court may terminate the conservatorship.

A parent can assume responsibility:  Parents are presumed to be the guardians for their children.  A guardian will be appointed for a child if the court finds the parents are unfit, unwilling, or unable to care for the child.  The guardianship for the child can be ended if the parent can show he or she is fit, suitable, and able to assume those duties.  Even with this showing, the court must still find the end of the guardianship is in the best interests of the child.

Guardian is unable to provide:  The court will also terminate a guardianship if the guardian is unable to provide services for the person.  This can happen if the person is moved out of state, for example.

Modification of the guardianship order

The court enters a guardianship order based on the circumstances at the time of the hearing.  The guardianship order will define the powers of the guardian.  If circumstances change, the court can modify the guardianship to either increase, decrease, or end the guardian’s powers.

Petition to end the guardianship:  The guardian, conservator, or someone acting on behalf of the disabled person can petition the court to modify the guardianship.  This petition can ask to either restore the person’s rights, or decrease or increase the powers of the guardian.  The court can set the matter for a hearing to decide what is in the bet interests of the person. 

To decide whether to change or end the guardianship, the court can require a report by a doctor, psychologist, or other mental health professional.

Questions about a guardianship or conservatorship? 

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Guardianship lawyer Tim McCurdy

Guardianship requires a lawyer who will listen to you.  You need a partner to help guide you through the complex guardianship process.  Tim McCurdy will take the time to learn about your unique situation to help look for a solution.

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