What if a guardian fails to file the annual expenses report?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2021 | Guardianship Disputes

Having someone take care of your loved one’s estate is delicate, and the court knows this. That is why the court asks estate guardians to file an annual report of the expenses made with the ward’s estate. That way, the court can see how they have spent the ward’s money. If your loved one’s guardian fails to do this, they might be misusing their assets, and you can hold them liable.

Annual reports: a legal requirement for guardians

Your loved one has an estate guardian because they can no longer make responsible financial decisions.  A guardian has the right to manage the estate of the ward on their behalf. With the court’s permission, they can even buy and exchange property with their ward’s estate. However, not because the guardian has a right to their estate means that they can do whatever they want with it or use it for their own benefit.

To avoid misuse of the ward’s estate, the court asks the estate guardian to send a written report showing the receipts and disbursements of the expenses made to support the maintenance of the ward. The guardian must file the report annually, and it must cover the costs of care for the 12 months of the year.

Failure to report

Filing an annual report of the expenses is one of the major responsibilities of the estate guardian. If they fail to do this report, any person interested in the estate can file a written complaint against them with the court. Then, the court will ask the guardian to make an appearance in which they will have to explain why they did not file the report. If they do not have a reason for not doing so, the court may fine them up to $1,000 or revoke their guardianship. In some cases, the court can impose both penalties on the guardian.

Removing the guardian

No one should take advantage of your loved one’s situation. If you believe that the guardian is mismanaging their assets, you have the right to ask the court to undo their guardianship. You cannot remove a guardian just because you disagree with how they manage the estate of your loved one. Still, if you have suspicions, you should consider contacting an attorney. That way, you can take legal action if any wrongdoing is discovered.