When should I end a minor’s guardianship?

An important part of creating any guardianship for a child is determining when the guardianship should end and why. Guardianships are an important legal responsibility placed on adults to carry on behalf of a child, but they necessarily should not last indefinitely. Since a minor guardianship should always be built to protect the minor’s best interests, it is wise to consider when it is time to let the individual in question assume his or her own responsibilities.

Of course, the simplest way for a guardianship of a minor to end is for the child to reach the age of majority, which is usually 18. Depending on the nature and terms of your specific guardianship, the relationship may not automatically terminate. However, most guardianships of a minor dissolve when the subject is no longer a legal minor.

It is possible, however, that the individual in the guardianship is not fully able to take care of themselves for some reason or another. This could be because of a medical or mental issue. Each case must be evaluated on its own terms.

It is also possible that a person is placed in a guardianship for the purpose of seeing through some legal conflict such as a real estate dispute because of an inheritance. If the dispute that necessitated the guardianship has been resolved, then it may be a good time to dissolve the guardianship. Similarly, if you are made a guardian to help a child manage his or her finances, then there you may choose to dissolve the guardianship once those finances have been depleted.

If you believe that your guardianship may have run its course, do not hesitate to seek out the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you evaluate your next steps. An experienced attorney will help you navigate this tricky landscape and make the best decisions for all parties, keeping your rights protected.

Source: Findlaw, “FAQ on Guardianship of Minor Children,” accessed Feb. 10, 2017

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