How to Switch Guardians

Guardianships in Arizona are more common than many people think. Oftentimes adults other than the biological parents of a minor may need to provide care if the parents are unable or unwilling to provide care for the child. Guardianships are also seen in scenarios where an adult child with a disability is unable to care for themselves. And lastly, guardianships are often necessary for seniors or other adults who are no longer able to make decisions on their own.

There are many requirements for guardianship and being informed is one of the most essential things a guardian can do, particularly if they need to move to another city or state. If they are moving and unable to fulfill their guardianship obligations, they may need to transfer guardianship to another person. To do this successfully, the requirements for transferring guardianship in Arizona must be observed.

Initially, you will need to make sure that when you obtained your guardianship from the state, that the state had adopted the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act. The Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act provides the mechanisms by which guardianships can be transferred easily from state to state. This Act also reduces or eliminates the problem of a new state not recognizing the guardianship of a previous state. 

Arizona has adopted the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act fully, meaning that if you were granted guardianship in a state that also has adopted the Act, transferring that guardian status to Arizona will be relatively easy. If the original state has not adopted the Uniform Adult Guardianship And Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act, it will be crucial to speak with a professional in that state, before relocating, since this circumstance can complicate the process somewhat.

Guardianship Transfer Paperwork

Even though Arizona has adopted the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act, the process of transferring guardianship is still mired in procedures and will need a lot of paperwork to be filled out. If managing large amounts of paperwork and the required organization is something that makes you anxious or stressed, it may be well worth it to you to work with a company like Senior Planning that can assist in transferring the guardianship status for you.

When you move to Arizona and transfer guardianship, you will need to keep the original state well-informed of the changes and updates. This means you not only need information from the original state but also that state’s permission. To obtain that permission, you will need to start by filing a Petition for Acceptance of Transfer of Guardianship from the original state to Arizona. That petition will need to be filled out and filed along with a probate information cover sheet and an affidavit of the person who will be appointed guardian.

Once all the paperwork has been completed, you must file it all with the state Superior Court. Likely, you will be notified of your hearing date, and the person for whom you will be assuming guardianship will be appointed a lawyer. This information will all be given to you at the courthouse when you file the appropriate paperwork. Once you have a hearing scheduled, you should then have a court order from the Arizona court stating that the guardianship can be transferred, as well as an accompanying temporary order declaring you the guardian.

This information must be provided to the original state once completed. When that state has acknowledged receipt of the proper information, they will issue the final approval for you to have the guardianship fully and completely transferred to the state of Arizona. You will eventually receive the final approval paperwork from the original state and then will need to file the approval paperwork in the Arizona superior court so that Arizona has the original state’s approval on file. Both state court systems need to be aware of the change.

Approval Hearing

After filing the original state’s approval paperwork with the Arizona superior court, the Arizona court may set a final hearing date to finalize the transfer. After the final hearing, the court will decide whether to grant you final approval of the guardianship. There are circumstances in which the court may grant you final approval without a formal hearing. This will generally depend on the attorney that has been appointed to the person requiring the guardian, and the preference of the court proceedings going forward.

Thanks in no small part to the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act, the process for transferring guardianship to Arizona from another state is easier than it once was. However, remember that the whole process will need a significant amount of paperwork and organization, so if you do not think you are going to be able to keep up with the paperwork and filing, it is probably best to work with a professional.

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