Keep Your Family’s Future Secure

What can courts do to address guardianship abuse?

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2024 | Guardianships And Conservatorships

Legal arrangements, like guardianships, exist to protect and take care of incapacitated individuals or wards, but they are not foolproof. Guardians have significant authority and responsibility to act in the best interests of their wards. Unfortunately, they may end up violating their duties, leading to incidents of abuse or neglect.

In these instances, the court can interfere as soon as they receive reports about these scenarios. If the allegations reach the proper agency, the court can issue the various legal remedies, including the following:

  • Freeze or order restrictions on accounts that suffered losses, possibly because of the abuse
  • Initiate investigations, including asset audits and appointment of a guardian ad litem
  • Order the guardian to repay any losses they caused to the ward’s assets
  • Help the ward exercise their rights to communicate with their family members in cases involving isolation
  • Adjusting the guardianship arrangement or ending it altogether

The most appropriate course of action can vary based on the details of the abuse case. If the wards are eligible for less restrictive arrangements, the court may allow them to implement changes. If not, the court may modify the guardianship setup by replacing the guardian or appointing another party to serve as a co-guardian.

Taking immediate action against guardianship abuse

Aside from losses in asset value, the ward’s safety and health can be at risk in abuse cases. When addressing these incidents, the court must prioritize the security and welfare of the incapacitated, often warranting immediate action.

Other agencies, such as local law enforcement, attorneys, and protective services, can help respond to these incidents. Still, the first step to holding perpetrators accountable is reporting the abuse, which anyone can do.