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How does the court address guardianship abuse?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2023 | Guardianship

Guardianship works when a trustworthy person makes legal decisions and ensures adequate care for an incapacitated individual or ward. Ideally, it can resolve issues related to the ward’s capacity to decide rationally and care for themselves.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes, guardians take advantage of their authority, leading to mistreatment or abuse. These incidents could also create opportunities for severe crimes, including robbery, embezzlement, theft and fraud. Fortunately, anyone can file reports of potential guardianship abuse, allowing the court to interfere.

The court could enforce the following actions to address the abuse as soon as they receive the report:

  • Restricting or freezing assets prone to theft and exploitation
  • Conducting investigations relevant to details within the incident report
  • Enforcing orders of repayment for any losses to the ward’s assets caused by the abuse
  • Creating orders to reinforce the ward’s rights to communicate and interact with their family and friends
  • Designating another person as a co-guardian, limiting the initial guardian’s authority
  • Immediately removing the guardian from their role
  • Seeking guardianship alternatives that are less restrictive for the ward

However, the court can only implement these measures based on the incident’s details and appropriateness. Depending on the situation, some cases require a more urgent response. Additionally, the court could enforce specific actions to minimize damage while investigating the abuse reports.

Addressing various forms of guardianship abuse

This type of abuse could vary, requiring a response fit for the allegations made by the reporter. Most of the time, the court must review cases thoroughly and allow authorities to investigate as needed.

Resolving guardianship abuse might take time and effort, especially if it involves severe offenses potentially leading to litigation. Still, it is worth it to help protect the ward’s rights and safety.

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