Can you remove a guardian who doesn’t do their job properly?

Published By | Nov 8, 2022 | Estate Planning |

When someone is subject to a guardianship in New York, the person in the role of guardian has usually presented a strong case in court showing that the adult requires the support of a guardian. Financial blunders and medical records are common evidence in guardianship hearings that can allow one adult to assume legal control over another’s finances and medical matters.

There are times when the courts approve a guardianship, but those closest to the individual in need of support question whether the guardian appointed was the right candidate for this important role. Just because someone may require the support of a guardian does not necessarily mean that the guardian appointed in the initial hearing is the best option.

If your family has begun to question the intentions or actions of a guardian handling the affairs of one of your loved ones, is it possible to remove them from their role and replace them with someone else?

Why would your family want to remove a guardian?

A guardian may have taken actions that benefit them instead of your loved one. Sometimes, those who seek a guardianship do so because they would like to control someone else’s assets or resources. They do not truly have the individual’s best interests at heart.

A family member who wants to own certain property or a representative of a residential care facility could pursue a guardianship with financial incentives instead of a desire to protect a vulnerable older adult. They may focus on giving themselves control over certain assets or ensuring that the facility that employs them receives priority consideration when managing the individual’s resources. In such scenarios, you can ask the courts to intervene.

New York allows for the removal of a guardian

There are scenarios in which someone subject to a guardianship could go to court and ask to have the guardianship ended. There are also legal remedies for family members who recognize that a guardianship is necessary but question the current guardian’s decisions. They can initiate litigation to remove the guardian and have someone else fill that important role.

Showing that a guardian has embezzled resources, mismanaged someone’s schedule or displayed an obvious conflict of interest could help your family remove a guardian from their role and replace them with a better candidate. Making sense of the complex rules that apply to New York guardianships will help those trying to support a vulnerable adult with the assistance of the probate courts.