Revoking a Legal Guardianship

By Sydelle John

Revoking a legal guardianship can be a complicated endeavor. However, when done with the help of an experienced attorney, the process can be straightforward. Eliminating the issues that created the guardianship can convince the court to remove the arrangement.

Revoking a legal guardianship can be a complicated endeavor. However, when done with the help of an experienced attorney, the process can be straightforward. Eliminating the issues that created the guardianship can convince the court to remove the arrangement.

What Is a Guardianship?

A guardianship is created when a court assigns a person to manage the affairs and welfare of another, known as a ward. The ward is typically a minor, but can be an adult who is physically or developmentally disabled. The arrangement may be temporary or permanent, with the latter requiring a hearing to determine whether the guardianship should last for a longer period of time.

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Why Is a Guardianship Necessary?

For a minor, a guardianship may be established if either one or both birth parents cannot provide stability. To prove this, the person seeking a guardianship ruling must show that the parents lack regular jobs or live with others who endanger the child. If the potential guardian can also show that she is the child’s primary caregiver or that the parents have abandoned the child, the court may grant the request. Abandonment is commonly proven by the unexplained absence of communication and/or visits for weeks or more at a time. For a disabled adult, a guardianship is typically given to enable parents to make decisions for the individual because he is incapable of caring for himself.

Revoking a Temporary Guardianship

Depending on the state, a temporary guardianship can last for up to six months or as long as it takes to schedule a hearing for a permanent arrangement. During the temporary guardianship period, the parents must create a stable environment that will encourage the court to return their child to them. This can be accomplished by maintaining employment, avoiding legal problems and maintaining a safe home, among other things. For the follow-up hearing, the parents must petition the court to revoke the guardianship. The parents must provide evidence such as witnesses and sworn affidavits from people who attest to their ability to properly care for the child.

Revoking A Permanent Guardianship

Revoking a permanent guardianship is harder than revoking a temporary one, particularly for a minor. This is because by the time a permanent guardianship is created, the ward has lived apart from his parents for a long time. The court must consider whether revocation will create instability because the child is being removed from a familiar environment. In order to have the guardianship lifted, the parents need to prove they can provide stability and it is in the best interest of the child to live with them. If the child has siblings living with the parents, it will buttress their argument. Completion of a rehabilitation program and support from a therapist is also helpful. The guardianship of a disabled ward is lifted if he proves he has regained full capacity and is capable of caring for himself.

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Can a Legal Guardianship Expire?


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Can a Permanent Legal Guardianship in Texas Expire?

A person with a mental or physical disability may need the assistance of a guardian to help him make decisions about his finances, healthcare, living arrangements and other life issues. In such situations, a probate court judge listens to the evidence and appoints a temporary or permanent guardian if he determines that is necessary. A temporary guardianship expires after 60 days, but a permanent guardianship remains in effect until the court issues an order to terminate it. However, a guardian's authority to act may expire under certain circumstances.

Setting Up Guardianship in a Will

Probate courts appoint legal guardians to care for minor children if their parents die. A guardian ensures a child receives such things as housing, food, education and health care until he reaches the age of 18. Parents can nominate individuals to serve as guardians in their wills. Generally, judges follows parents' wishes by awarding guardianship to the parents' nominees. If a nominee is unable to serve, the court chooses another capable person to act. State laws regarding guardianship may vary.

Are Living Wills Binding Documents?

When a living will is made in compliance with state law, it generally becomes legally binding. Although state laws vary, living wills generally include provisions related to end-of-life care and require the maker's and witnesses' signatures to make them legally binding. Some states require witnesses and a notary. You can use a template to make a living will, provided it is in compliance with your state's laws. Living will forms vary from state to state because each state has specific requirements. It is advisable to consult an attorney in your state to ensure your living will conforms to state law.

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