Guardianship should always be in the best interest of the ward, but this is not always the case. Guardians can become unfit over time, or there may be an error that gave guardianship to someone who never should have had it in the first place. Or, guardians may change their mind and want to pass guardianship to someone who will be better equipped for the particular ward that they have been representing. Whatever the case, it is sometimes necessary to switch guardians. This process is designed to provide the best possible guardian for the ward in question, so it does require proper documentation and representation.
When Does Guardianship Get Revoked?
Guardians are obligated to show that they are making the correct decisions for their wards in any circumstances. If they have not been able to provide for the ward in the correct way, guardianship can be revoked by the court. Guardians that have committed elder abuse or used the ward’s assets in a self-serving way will be removed from guardianship.
Conflicts of interest are another possible reason for guardianship to be revoked. If the guardian has a reason to not have the best interests of the ward in mind, they can be dismissed by a judge. The main thing that judges look for when revoking guardianship is any possible grounds for the guardian to be taking advantage of the ward or mismanaging their resources. Guardians must submit annual reports to the court demonstrating what they have done to provide for the ward. These are mainly financial documents, although they can also include a plan of care or other miscellaneous items of interest to the court. If these reports do not meet the standards of the judge, they will revoke guardianship and appoint a different guardian to take care of the ward.
How to Become a Guardian in Arizona
If you are trying to become a guardian of a ward that already has a guardian, first you will need to show the court that the current guardian is not able to meet their duties. If all parties agree on this point, there should not be much trouble transferring guardianship to the new person, but if there is discrepancy, you will need to argue your case in court.
Amicable Change of Guardianship
If the current guardian, the ward, and the new guardian all believe that the new guardian will be a better fit for the ward, you will need to show the court that this is the case. First, you will need to submit a petition to the court. Next, it must be confirmed that the ward is still incapacitated when it comes to making medical decisions. Finally, you will need to show that you are the best possible guardian.
Proving your ability for guardianship is not as easy as it sounds. You must show that you are genuinely looking out for the ward with your decisions. The best way to do this is an established history with the ward. The court will look at your relationship with the ward to see if you have supported them correctly in the past. You should also have a plan for their future care under your guardianship to show that you are prepared to take on the responsibilities of guardianship.
Disputing a Current Guardian
If you are trying to become a guardian because the current guardian is unfit, but they still believe that they are the correct guardian, be prepared to testify your case. You should have evidence that the current guardian is not representing their ward’s best interests. This can be proof of financial mismanagement, abuse, or other behaviors condemned by the court. You will need an attorney to argue that the current guardian cannot meet their duties. This is done by first filing a complaint to the court about the current guardian. From there, you will have to argue your position to the judge that the guardian in question has not fulfilled their duties.
When it comes to incapacitated individuals, the court is careful to do its best when selecting a guardian. This person will have a level of access and control over the ward’s life that means that they must have the ward’s best interests at heart, or they will be stripped of their guardianship. While the guardianship selecting process is meant to run potential candidates through a rigorous process designed to select the best candidate, sometimes circumstances change, and the current guardian is no longer able to fulfill their duties.
It is highly recommended that you use professional assistance when filing for guardianship to strengthen your case. You will need to prove that you are the best guardian for the ward through an established relationship, financial competency, and a plan of care. You will also need to provide reports demonstrating that you have been serving the ward correctly when you are appointed as a guardian, or you will have guardianship revoked. If at any time you believe that a guardian is unfit in their responsibilities, file a complaint with the court.