old woman with caneThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing guardianships for adult residents of Hartford, Connecticut who have intellectual disabilities. Our previous article reviewed the scope of powers which a guardian may be granted. It also discussed the duties and responsibilities of individuals in this role. It is important to understand and comply with specific instructions of the Court and all legal requirements. The Probate Court will review the guardian’s actions and the condition of the protected individual on an annual basis or more frequently as needed to ensure that proper care is being provided. In this article, we will discuss the circumstances under which a guardian may be removed by the Court. If you need assistance, contact our office today to speak with an attorney.

There are certain situations when a guardian of an adult with intellectual disabilities may be removed from their position. One such circumstance is when the protected individual develops or regains the capacity to meet the essential requirements to care for themself or make informed decisions about their care and wellbeing. Guardians are required to report significant changes in the protected person’s capacity to the Court when they occur. In some cases, an independent assessment of the individual’s condition may be necessary to confirm the improved condition. For example, if, after completing a rehabilitative program, the protected person has developed skills necessary to manage their finances without assistance, the Court may determine that a guardian appointed for that limited reason is no longer required.

A guardian may request that the Probate Court remove them from their role and appoint a replacement. For a variety of reasons, an individual may be unable or unwilling to continue in their position. As we have previously discussed in this series, acting as a guardian carries with it serious responsibilities and fiduciary duties. It is not uncommon for individuals to face challenges in this position that cause them to seek a replacement. Other reasons may include the guardian’s illness or injury, time commitment issues, or relocation away from the protected individual.

The Probate Court may also terminate a guardianship if the guardian has breached their duties to the protected person. For instance, if the guardian has neglected or abused their authority or taken actions that are not in the protected individual’s best interest, they may be removed from their role. Failure to meet reporting requirements or otherwise acting unethically could also be grounds for termination. Additional reasons may include engaging in criminal activity, such as fraud, possessing illegal drugs, etc. To ensure the protection of the intellectually disabled individuals, the Court will take all such matters seriously. In extreme cases, the removed guardian may face civil or criminal penalties for such actions.

Our attorneys are experienced in guardianships for adults with intellectual disabilities. If you need assistance, contact our Hartford office today to schedule a consultation. We also service the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, West and East Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.