A Guardianship may be necessary if a person cannot manage their day-to-day life or their personal affairs. A Guardianship is also used for people who are under the age of 18, or when people are incapacitated and unable to make decisions about their finances, care, or other aspects of their life. But what happens if a Guardianship was improperly granted? Or if the Guardianship has run its course and the reason for the Guardianship no longer applies? It may be necessary to remove a Guardian.
Sometimes a Guardianship ends naturally, in which case there is no need to remove a Guardian . For example, a Guardianship of a minor (someone under 18) automatically ends once the Ward turns 18. Likewise, a Guardianship ends when a Ward dies and the probate court approves the Guardian’s final accounting of the ward’s finances. A Guardianship may also terminate if the Guardian resigns, the probate court approves the Guardian’s resignation, or the Guardian dies.
Some people want to remove a Guardian because they believe the Guardian is not qualified. To qualify as a Guardian, a person must generally live in the same county as the Ward. While there are exceptions to this rule, it is more difficult for a Guardian to fulfill his or her duties if the Guardian does not have frequent face-to-face contact with the Ward. The Guardian must also demonstrate that he or she is creditworthy, and must be bonded. If you are in search of a Guardian, I offer this service in Franklin County.
But what happens if the Guardian was initially qualified, but is no longer doing a good job? In situations like this, you may need to remove a Guardian. Trying to remove a Guardian is a complicated process that should only be attempted with the assistance of a skilled and experienced Ohio Guardianship attorney.
Sometimes the Guardian is no longer performing his or her duties. Other times, it is clear that the Guardianship never should have been granted, or that the ward no longer needs the services of a Guardian. In cases like this, it is wise to hire an Ohio Guardianship attorney who can ask the court to remove a Guardian, or reduce a Guardianship to a Limited Guardianship.
The Ward may attempt to remove a Guardian if the Ward becomes sufficiently competent to handle his or her own affairs. The Ward can also ask the judge to issue instructions requiring that the Guardian do certain things, like allowing the ward to participate in a vocational program, or move to a community based setting.
If the Guardian is unwilling or unable to perform all the duties necessary to care for the Ward, the Ward or a third party can seek to have the Guardian removed. The court that appointed the Guardian has exclusive jurisdiction to remove a Guardian. If a Motion to Terminate Guardianship is filed, the judge will hold a hearing to determine whether the Guardian is unfit for his or her duties, and whether it is in the best interest of the Ward to have a new guardian appointed. The court has broad discretion in determining whether to remove a Guardian.
Anyone can provide information to the court to help the judge determine whether the Guardian is performing his or her duties. The probate court is the superior Guardian and has the authority to remove a Guardian. If it becomes necessary to remove a Guardian but the Ward still needs one, the court will appoint someone else.
The most common reason to remove a Guardian is when it is in the best interest of the Ward. Other reasons to remove a Guardian are if the Guardian commits a felony, disobeys court orders, fails to use the Ward's assets to support the Ward, or improperly handles the Ward’s assets.
If you have questions about Ohio Guardianship or believe you need to remove a Guardian, contact Wolfe Legal Services today.
I have more than 20 years experience as an Ohio Guardianship attorney, and work with people throughout greater Columbus, including Dublin, Bexley, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Marysville, Hilliard, Delaware, and Newark, and throughout Franklin County, Delaware County, Pickaway County, Fairfield County, Union County, and Licking County. Call (614) 263-5297 any time or complete our online form.