Can a Court Appointed Guardian be Removed?

Portrait of an adult woman with his elderly mother.When it comes to caring for the elderly in your life, especially your parents, life can get tricky. Whether you live nearby or far away, having the time and resources to provide your elderly loved ones with everything they need can be tiring. In some cases, a guardian needs to be appointed in order to handle your loved one’s affairs in the event that you are unable to do so. But what do you do in the event that the guardian is taking advantage of your elderly loved one? Can you have him/her removed?

Removing a Guardian

You have to be able to prove that your loved one is at risk or that the guardian is taking advantage of him in order to have him removed. According to Section 474 of the Florida Statutes, there are 21 reasons a guardian can be removed from his title. Ultimately, it boils down to being able to prove that the guardian is no longer good for the elderly person. This could mean that he physically cannot handle the position or that he is fraudulently handling your loved one’s estate and finances.

It is not often what seems logical or right in the eye of the family, but what is in the best interest of the person needing the guardianship. If it is determined that a guardian is no longer good for the person being cared for, then Florida law will allow for the guardian to be legally removed. If there is no evidence of wrongdoing or that the elderly person is suffering at the hands of the guardian, then it might be difficult to have him removed.

Florida law is out to protect the people that need caring for, but will not remove a guardian just because a family member decides that they want to take over. This can occur in a variety of situations. For example, say you moved away from your parents and live out of state. In the meantime, a guardian needed to be appointed to help your parents care for their lawn, home, and finances. After a few years you decide to move back to the area and want to resume your position as child and guardian. According to Florida law, you do not have that right – you cannot just kick a guardian out of their position unless you can prove that there is a sufficient reason to do so. It is for this reason that it is important to give long, careful though to appointing a guardian before doing so as it is often hard to “undo” that appointment in the end.

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