Guardianships are legal arrangements ordered by courts to protect the interests of individuals who cannot properly represent themselves typically due to age or disability. State law allows any interested person to file a petition to terminate or dismiss an existing guardianship, including the ward (the subject of the guardianship). The court will review the petition, and must see proof that the reason for the guardianship has passed, and thus the arrangement is no longer needed.
Draft your motion for termination of guardianship. You can find a blank copy of the form in your county courthouse's office of the clerk. While specifics vary by state, you will enter into the form the full case information from the current guardianship case, including fully detailed information on yourself, the ward, and the natural parents, as well as a full disclosure of the ward's financial assets and property. Include a copy of the previous order granting guardianship.
Attach to the motion any required documentation. For example, if guardianship was awarded because of a mental incapacity, and the incapacity has been cured, attach to the motion a physician's evaluation that certifies the period of incapacity has passed, and that the ward is of sound mind and body. You will need to present the court sufficient proof that whatever impediment was the contributing factor in guardianship is no longer valid.
You may also need to attach affidavits from two people who know the ward and can attest that he or she is now competent. For example, Georgia requires under Section 29-4-42 of the Georgia Code for a motion for termination (referred to as a petition under Georgia law) to include a medical report, or affidavits of two people who know the ward.
File the motion with the clerk's office. Provide a copy of the petition to all involved parties such as the ward, the natural parents, and the current guardian. The court will conduct a hearing on the motion and if it finds sufficient evidence that the need for the guardianship has passed, may order an evaluation of the ward. If the evaluation confirms the contents of the motion to dismiss, the court will grant the motion.
- Most states have time restrictions on motions to dismiss. For example, Georgia does not allow petitions less than two years apart.
- Death of the ward typically acts as an automatic termination of the guardianship and does not require you to file a motion to dismiss.
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