What happens if a guardian dies?

We help clients become guardians of adults who lack capacity to make their own decisions. When we do this for parents (who are typically 25-40 years older than their child), they usually ask about the future. They often ask to incorporate a second or successor guardian for a seamless transition for if/when they can no longer act as guardian (which could be due to death, illness or other life changes). For more detail about what happens, see the video below.

What typically happens is that that another person can apply to become guardian and replace the first guardian. For example, the person subject to the guardianship may have a sibling who will apply to take over as guardian.

Or, if there isn't a friend or relative willing and able to become guardian, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee might agree to take on the role.

Of course, consideration should be given to whether the individual has regained capacity. In some cases, such as acquired brain injuries or mental illness, the individual subject to guardianship may have improved to the point it is appropriate to terminate the guardianship.

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