November 10, 2010 § 2 Comments

Here are some things you may not already know about guardianships.  Some of them have teeth that can draw blood if they catch you unawares …

  • MCA § 93-13-38, provides that “All the provisions of the law on the subject of executors and administrators, relating to settlement or disposition of property limitations, notice to creditors, probate and registration of claims, proceedings to insolvency and distribution of assets of insolvent estates, shall, as far as applicable and not otherwise provided, be observed and enforced in all guardianships.”
  • MCA § 93-13-33, requires that the guardian return an inventory within three months of the appointment, and states:  “Any guardian who shall fail to return inventories may be removed and his bond be put in suit, unless he can show cause for the default.”
  • When closing out a guardianship, the requirements of MCA § 93-13-77, must be satisfied.  That section requires that a final accounting filed, and that the ward be summoned and given notice to be and appear before the court on a day not less than one month after the date that the summons is served or after completion of publication, to show cause why the accounting should not be approved.  The accounting can not be approved earlier than one month after completion of process.  All the requirements to close a guardianship are here.
  • When a guardian has more than one ward, each ward’s business must be accounted for separately.  MCA § 93-13-69.
  • A child 14 or older has a statutory right to choose his or her guardian.  If the ward is over 14, you should have the child join in the petition.
  • Guardianship of a minor ceases by operation of law at age 21, and, in the discretion of the Chancellor, at age 18.  The guardianship may also be terminated by order of the court at any time that the estate has a value less than $2,000 and no further funds or property are anticipated to come into the guardian’s hands.  MCA § 93-13-75.
  • Any claim for a guardian’s fee must include the information required in Uniform Chancery Court Rule 6.11.
  • A “solicitor’s fee” (MCA § 93-13-79) may be allowed for the attorney, and the claim for it must be supported by an itemized statement of services rendered in the same form as that required for the guardian’s fee, plus the information required in Rule 6.12 of the Uniform Chancery Court Rules.    

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  • Tracy Tice says:

    Is it necessary to go back into court to close a guardianship? I am guardian of my son’s account that he received when his Father died. He is now 21 and he recieved funds as long as he was in college, today is his last day, so he will no longer receive this money. I thought it would automatically close, but the bank says I have to go back to court, once again to do this. I do not want to have to pay a lawyer another $500 – $1000 just for five minutes in a court room. Any advice ???

    • Larry says:

      I am prohibited by law from giving legal advice, but it is possible if your son will agree to close the guardianship in an abbreviated proceeding in which he waives the right to a final accounting. You do need a lawyer to do this, and I would hope it would cots far less than what you said if no accounting is involved.

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