Guardianship offers important legal and financial protections to those who are vulnerable because of age or medical issues. Whether due to a traumatic brain injury or Alzheimer’s disease, some adults will eventually become unable to manage their own lives.
A guardian assumes the same sort of responsibility over an adult that a parent typically has over a minor child. Guardians need to act in the best interests of the person in their care and manage their daily affairs appropriately. A guardian may make choices about where someone lives and what kind of medical care they receive.
If the guardian appointed in your loved one’s case has acted questionably, you may want to replace them. Can you or another family member take over for a guardian whose motives you question?
The courts can remove a guardian who doesn’t do their job or misbehaves
Some guardians will assume a role in a vulnerable adult’s life because they want to move into their home or take control over their property. They may then fail to make decisions that are in the best interests of that vulnerable adult, acting for their own benefit instead.
Such behavior is a violation of their fiduciary duty as a guardian. When you can show, for example, that a guardian has hired family members as caregivers and overpaid them dramatically for the services rendered, you could potentially convince the courts that they have sought to benefit themselves rather than protect the older adult in their care.
Similarly, those who don’t take steps to protect an older adult suffering abuse at a nursing home or who have simply failed to fulfill the basic obligations of guardianship could be subject to removal proceedings. When concerned family members can show that they have not fulfilled their obligations and put the needs of the person in their care ahead of their own desires, those family members may eventually replace the guardian currently managing the older adult’s affairs.
You can replace a guardian or sometimes end the guardianship
Challenging an inappropriate guardianship could occur in two separate manners. As previously mentioned, you could gather evidence that the guardian has acted inappropriately and seek to specifically replace them. On the other hand, you could also potentially start gathering evidence that your loved one does not truly require a guardianship and should regain control over their life and affairs.
Talking with other family members and your loved one can help you determine if challenging a guardianship arrangement is the appropriate step for your family to take.