A guardianship has many benefits. It allows you to appoint a guardian to make decisions for someone who is incapacitated and not able to make the decisions themselves.
Guardianships are especially beneficial for special needs adults or aging parents. You may obtain a guardianship of the person or guardianship of the estate.
A guardianship of the person allows the guardian to make personal decisions for the ward, which is the person who needs the guardianship, such as medical decisions. A guardianship of the estate enables the guardian to pay the guardian’s bills and manage property.
Modifying a guardianship
Over time, circumstances may change which require changes to your guardianship. The ward may become partially competent, meaning they may be awarded slightly more power over decisions. Conversely, the ward’s condition may also deteriorate, meaning that the guardian will require more extensive powers.
Whether you are the guardian or the ward, you may petition the court for a change in the guardianship. In lieu of filing a formal petition, a ward can send an informal letter to the court stating what they want changed about the guardianship and why.
Terminating a guardianship
A restoration petition can be filed in cases where you believe the ward’s situation has changed substantially, to the point where they no longer require a guardian. As with a modification, if you are a ward, you can file your own petition or send a letter to the court explaining why you want your legal rights restored and the guardianship terminated.
To obtain a guardianship, clear and convincing evidence that the ward was incapacitated must be shown. The required legal standard is lower when terminating a guardianship. A court only requires evidence of the ward’s competency by a preponderance of the evidence.
A court may also order modification or restoration on its own. Attorneys can provide valuable advice and information on the best course of action for an existing guardianship.