Terminating an Adult Guardianship
In most cases, a court hearing is required to terminate a guardianship over an adult. Anyone - a guardian, a relative, or the subject of the guardianship - can file papers asking the judge to decide whether a guardianship is still needed. Read this section for more information about why a guardianship may be terminated, and to find the forms needed to ask a judge to end the guardianship.
If the protected person passed away and all of the surviving heirs will agree to waive a final accounting, you may be able to close the case with following the steps on this page and without a hearing. Follow the instructions and complete the forms in the Petition to Waive Accounting and Close Case (protected person Deceased) packet. If all of the heirs will not sign the included consent form, you must instead follow the instructions below to terminate the guardianship.
How to Terminate an Adult Guardianship
1. File the Papers
You will need to complete a Petition to Terminate Guardianship, and a Citation or a Notice of Hearing. You may also need to provide other documents depending on your situation.
Fill out all of the forms in the packet below, and follow all of the included instructions.
If the protected person has passed away: Complete the Notice of Hearing instead of the Citation that is included in the packet above. This lets any interested parties know of the court date if they want to attend and speak to the judge.
Other Documents You May Need:
Depending on the reason you want to close the guardianship, you may need to provide other documents to support your request. Some common forms that must also be submitted to the court are:
- Final Accounting. If you are the guardian over the protected person's estate, you must provide a final accounting to the court. The following document can be attached as an "Exhibit" to your petition so the judge can approve of the final accounting at the same hearing.
Final Accounting (pdf)
- Doctor's Letters. If you want to close a guardianship over an adult who has regained competence, you must provide two letters from two doctors stating that the adult is competent. Attach the letters as exhibits to your petition.
- Other State's Guardianship Papers. If you have moved to another state (with prior court permission) and opened a guardianship case there, attach proof of the other state's filing as an exhibit to your petition.
2. Serve the Papers
Once you have filed all of the necessary papers, you will have to serve the papers on all required people. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT! If you do not follow this step properly, the judge may cancel your hearing!
You will have to send the Petition to Terminate Guardianship along with the Citation (or Notice of Hearing if the protected person has passed away) to the protected person, the guardians, the protected person's relatives (the same ones who have been receiving notice of prior proceedings), and the protected person's attorney. This is to make sure all of these people know about the hearing and have a chance to respond to your papers.
How to Serve the Papers:
- If the protected person is alive: Mail the petition and the citation to all of the required people by certified mail, return receipt requested.
- If the protected person has passed away: You can send the petition and the notice of hearing to all of the required people by regular mail.
3. On the Day of the Hearing (and after):
Make sure to arrive at the courthouse early for your hearing so you have enough time to park, get through security, and find the courtroom. Check in with the judge's marshal.
When your hearing begins, the judge will ask some questions to you and anyone who is at the hearing for your case. The judge may make a decision after hearing from everyone.
If the judge terminates the guardianship, the judge will sign the Order Terminating Guardianship. This form is included in the packet above; bring it with you to court. After the judge signs the Order Terminating Guardianship, you must make sure the order is filed at the Clerk's Office.
You will then be responsible to send a copy of the order to all required people, and file a Notice of Entry of Order with the court so the judge knows that all required people have a copy.