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How to challenge a guardianship decision

Many elderly citizens rely on the services of a guardian to help make important financial and life decisions. In many cases, the court ends up appointing a guardian. While many professional guardians will ensure the individual is safe, abuse has occurred in the past. 

Whether a person's guardian is a family member, friend or court-appointed professional, there are various ways for loved ones to contest the guardianship. Until there are significant changes to the law, it is up to you and your family members to remain cognizant of the guardian's activities. It can be difficult to remove a guardian, but with due diligence, it is certainly possible. 

Contest incapacity claims

A common reason why a court will appoint a guardian is that the judge believes the elderly citizen to be incapable of taking care of financial and medical issues independently. If the elder's family members believe this guardian is unnecessary, they can contest it by showing how the senior citizen is capable of living without assistance. The best way to go about proving this claim is to have a doctor give the person a medical exam and testify that she or he does not require the services of a guardian.

Challenge guardian's eligibility

Another way to contest the claims of a guardianship is to show the guardian is unable to adequately care for the individual. There may also be legal grounds for removing the guardian. For example, in many cases, a person cannot become a legal guardian if he or she has a prior criminal record. Family members can also contest a guardian's eligibility by showing he or she does not understand the day-to-day needs of the person in need of care. Additionally, if the elderly citizen has a large estate and the guardian has never managed an estate of that size previously, then the court may remove the guardian for not understanding the scale of the situation. 

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