Ending a Guardianship: How and When to Do It

Ending a Guardianship: How and When to Do It

When you are deciding whether to pursue guardianship for your adult child with special needs, you should learn about ending a guardianship. You may realize that since ending a guardianship is difficult, you might be better off waiting to seek one in the first place.

How to Change or End a Guardianship

To obtain a guardianship for an adult, you have to go to court and get permission from a judge. The same is true for changing or ending a guardianship. You will have to file a petition with the court from which you first obtained the guardianship. The petition may list one of several reasons for changing or ending the guardianship:

  • The adult with special needs no longer needs a guardian or does not need the guardian for as many tasks
  • The guardian dies, relocates, or cannot serve as a guardian for other reasons
  • The guardian fails to do his or her job as a guardian.

The judge will hold a hearing and make a decision on the petition. Depending on your circumstances, the judge might decide not to change or end the guardianship at all. Or the judge might appoint a successor guardian to take over.

Why to Avoid Guardianship If It Could Change or End

That said, maybe pursuing a guardianship is not such a good idea if you think you might need to change or end it sometime in the future. Consider right now whether you think your child with special needs might become independent enough not to need a guardian. If so, then hold off on starting the guardianship process. You will save yourself, your child, and the courts a lot of time, money, and energy by holding off.

Instead of a guardianship, you can help your child with special needs with personal and financial necessities by:

  • Talking to your child about signing a durable power of attorney so that you can assist with decision-making
  • Creating a special needs trust to hold inheritance money
  • Opening a joint bank account so that you can monitor spending
  • Helping your child find day programs and other personal development resources

In other words, you have many options besides guardianship. Changing or ending a guardianship that is already in place may be difficult because you must follow a strict court process. Deciding to wait and see could be better for your adult child with special needs in the long run.

Rubin Law is the only law firm in Illinois exclusively limited to providing compassionate special needs legal and future planning to guide our fellow Illinois families of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, or mental illness down the road to peace of mind. For more information, email us at email@rubinlaw.com or call 866-TO-RUBIN.