Learn How to Transfer a Guardianship to Arizona From Another State
There are two meanings to transferring a guardianship:
- Transferring guardianship can refer to the process of changing the person who has legal responsibility for a minor or a person who is unable to make decisions for themselves due to incapacity. This change is typically made through a legal proceeding, such as a court order, and involves the transfer of authority from one guardian to another. The new guardian then assumes the responsibilities and obligations of caring for the person and making decisions on their behalf.
- If you are moving to Arizona from another state and need to transfer guardianship from your past state to Arizona, the complexity depends on the state you are coming from. If your previous home state has adopted the Universal Probate Code, which Arizona also has, then transferring the guardianship is straight forward. If you are from a state that has not adopted the Uniform Probate Code (about 50% of states have not), however, then an Arizona court may need to modify your existing guardianship to comply with Arizona laws.
On this page, we will be discussing how to transfer a guardianship when a guardian is moving to Arizona with the person who is the subject of the guardianship and needs to continue serving as their guardian in Arizona.
Step 1: Get a Provisional Order Authorizing Transfer of Guardianship to Arizona
A provisional order authorizing transfer to Arizona is a court order that allows a guardianship to be temporarily transferred from another state to Arizona. The provisional order authorizes the transfer of the guardianship on a temporary basis and provides for the protection of the person who is the subject of the guardianship during the transition. The provisional order will typically include conditions for the transfer, such as the responsibilities of the guardian, the authority of the court in the new state, and any restrictions on the guardian’s actions.
Once the provisional order is obtained, the guardian must file a petition in Arizona to establish the guardianship in accordance with the laws and procedures of Arizona. The provisional order remains in effect until a final order is issued by an Arizona court, at which point the guardianship will be fully transferred to the new state.
It is important to note that the process for obtaining a provisional order authorizing transfer to Arizona may vary depending on the laws and procedures of the state where the guardianship was originally established, and it is advisable to seek the assistance of a qualified attorney to navigate the process.
Step 2: File a Guardianship Petition in your new Arizona County’s Court
To initiate the transfer process in Arizona, you must file a new guardianship petition and submit the following to the probate court in the county you wish to transfer the guardianship to:
- A certified copy of the Provisional Order Authorizing Transfer from your previous state
- Your Letters of Appointment
- Probate Cover Sheet (form PB10f)
- Probate Information Sheet (form PB11f)
- Petition for Acceptance of Transfer (form PBTX11f)
- Affidavit of Person to be Appointed Guardian and/or Conservator (form PBGC11f)
- Request for Hearing Date (form PBTX13f)
Upon submitting these forms and orders, a filing fee will be required. Make sure to write down the case number assigned by the court (it starts with “PB”).
Step 3: Schedule a Non-Appearance Hearing with the Court
A non-appearance hearing in the context of guardianship refers to a hearing where the guardian, the person who is the subject of the guardianship, or other relevant parties are not present in court. During a non-appearance hearing, the judge may make decisions about the guardianship, such as modifying the terms of the guardianship, terminating the guardianship, or continuing the guardianship under the current terms. The judge will consider the available evidence, including written submissions and testimony from witnesses, before making a decision.
If any part has an objection to your guardianship petition, a non-appearance hearing will not be possible and you will have to appear in person.
Step 4: Secure Legal Representation for the Ward
If the ward does not have a private attorney, the court can appoint one for them. Contact the Office of Public Defense Services and provide the ward’s name, address, phone number, and the date and time of the upcoming hearing, along with your case number. You must also submit an Order Appointing Attorney (form PBTX14f) to the county probate court at least 30 days prior to the scheduled hearing.
Step 5: Notify Parties of the Petition for Transfer of Guardianship
The person filing the Petition for Acceptance of Transfer must give notice to all relevant parties in both the transferring state and Arizona. This includes:
- The ward/protected person
- The protected person’s immediate family members
- The current guardian or conservator (if different from the petitioner)
- Any individuals who have filed a Demand for Notice
Notice must be served at least 14 days before the initial hearing and can be delivered through methods such as certified mail, first-class mail, or personal delivery. If the petitioner is unable to locate a known interested party, a notice must be published in a local newspaper at least three times, with the first publication appearing at least 14 days before the hearing.
Step 6: File Proof of Notice with Clerk of the Court
After serving notice to any and all interested parties, you must file proof you have served notice with the clerk of the court. If you do not provide notice before your hearing, the hearing will either be cancelled or rescheduled. Proof of notice must contain the date of notice and the manner in which the notice was given/posted.
Step 7: Get a Provisional Order Granting Acceptance of Transfer
After a successful initial hearing, the court will issue a Provisional Order granting the acceptance of transfer. This order officially appoints the proposed guardian unless an objection is raised, showing that the transfer is not in the best interest of the ward, or the proposed guardian is for some reason not eligible for appointment in the state of Arizona.
Step 8: Don’t Forget to file the Provisional Order with your Original State
A final Order transferring the guardianship to Arizona and closing the case in the original jurisdiction court must be issued from the original state. To accomplish this, submit a certified copy of both the Provisional Order Accepting Transfer and the Provisional Order Appointing the Guardian, along with any necessary paperwork and filing fees, to the transferring court.
Step 9: File the Transferring State’s Final Order with Arizona
After the transferring court issues a final Order to Transfer Guardianship, present a certified copy of the order to the Arizona court clerk. The clerk will give you a form to request the Final Order Accepting Transfer of Guardianship and Final Order Appointing a Permanent Guardian from the Arizona court. The court should grant these final orders within 90 days, unless it determines that the guardianship needs to be altered to comply with Arizona law.
Step 10: Be Sure to File your Annual Accounting Report
In Arizona, you must submit annual accounting reports to the court. Your first report is due before the one-year anniversary of the date the Arizona court issued the Provisional Letters of Appointment, not the Final Order of Appointment.