EVENTS THAT TERMINATE GUARDIANSHIPS

November 15, 2010 § 2 Comments

We’ve already discussed how to close a guardianship, but what exactly are the events that trigger closing it? 

MCA § 93-13-75:

The powers of a guardian for a minor cease when the ward attains the age of 21.

The chancellor may, in his or her discretion, terminate the guardianship after the ward attains the age of 18.

When the funds and personal property of the ward do not exceed $2,000, and there is no prospect of further funds coming into the guardianship, the court may terminate the guardianship and may impose conditions and restrictions for the deposit and expenditure of the funds.  This provision applies not only to guardianships for minors, but also to guardianships for a “person of unsound mind, or convict of felony.” 

MCA § 93-13-125:

In a guardianship for a person of unsound mind but not “properly adjudged mentally unsound,” the court may terminate the guardianship “If at any time it be made to appear to the satisfaction of the court that such person has been restored to sanity, such guardianship may be terminated and ended as now provided by law.”

MCA § 93-13-133:

If the court is satisfied that a person of unsound mind is restored to sanity, or that an habitual drunkard, or habitual user of cocaine, or opium or morphine has “sufficiently reformed to justify it …” the court may terminate the guardianship.

MCA § 93-13-135:

The guardianship of a convict of felony ceases when the term of imprisonment expires or the convict dies.

MCA § 93-13-151:

Guardianship of a person who is found in need of mental treatment shall end when the ward is “restored to reason” and is so adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction.

MCA § 93-13-161:

If a guardian has been appointed for the estate of a person in the armed forces or a merchant seaman who is “officially reported or listed as missing in action, or interned in a neutral country, or beleagured, besieged, or captured by an enemy,” the guardianship may be terminated as follows:

At any time upon petition signed by the absentee, or on petition of an attorney-in-fact acting under power of attorney granted by the absentee, the court shall direct the termination of the guardianship and the transfer of all property held thereunder to the absentee or the designated attorney-in-fact.  Likewise, if at any time subsequent to the appointment of a guardian it shall appear that the absentee has died and an executor or administrator had been appointed for his estate …”

MCA § 93-13-77:

” … it shall be made the duty of an executor or administrator of a deceased guardian to make final settlement in a of their testator’s or intestate’s guardianship accounts in the chancery court in which the same mey be pending …”

It is obvious that a guardianship terminates on death of the ward.  In such a case, an estate should be opened, a final accounting filed and noticed, and the assets transferred to the estate once the guardianship is closed.

A guardianship solely of the person terminates on emancipation of the ward, or when it is shown to the court no longer to be necessary.

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§ 2 Responses to EVENTS THAT TERMINATE GUARDIANSHIPS

  • Joseph R. Tramuta says:

    What happens when a ward dies after the guardian of the ward’s estate has been appointed, but before the guardian has been able to take the oath and obtain letters of guardianship? Does the guardian of the estate still have to file an accounting, even though the guardian of the estate was not able to marshal the assets prior to the death of the ward?

    • Larry says:

      I take the position that the fiduciary has no legal status until the oath is taken, any bond is posted, and letters are issued. So, no, I don’t think there is any duty. But you should file a report to the court stating the facts and asking that it be dismissed. Your chancellor may see it differently.

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