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Modification, Restoration and Termination in Adult Guardianships

Modification and Restoration are two types of legal actions made, by the District Court Judge, to amend or change an existing adult guardianship case.

Modification

When a Protected Person’s condition has improved or deteriorated, any interested parties may request a status conference with the Judge to discuss amending an existing guardianship order. If the powers outlined in the guardianship order have been decreased or increased, the guardianship has been modified.

For example, if the Protected Person has regained decisional capacity, has established decision-making supports, or if there is additional evidence that the person does not meet criteria for appointment of a guardian the court should be notified.

Restoration

When the Protected Person’s condition and/or circumstances have significantly improved or if the person believes that the guardianship is no longer necessary, the Protected Person has the right to review the need for guardianship.

Evidence to demonstrate that the Protected Person no longer needs a guardian is determined by the assigned Judge, but may include:

  • Functional or Clinical Assessments;
  • Statements from the Protected Person or interested parties; and
  • Court observation of the Protected Person.

In either of these circumstances, the Protected Person and/or other interested parties have the right to contact the court to address any concerns pertaining to guardianship. This can be done by filing a motion or writing a letter to the Judge requesting a status conference.

For additional guardianship case information please contact the district court clerk’s office or visit https://adultguardianship.nmcourts.gov/

Termination

When a Protected Person’s rights have been restored, the guardianship case may be terminated by the Judge. In other cases, the guardianship becomes terminated when the Protected Person has passed away or if a successor guardian has been appointed. However, if the guardianship was transferred to a successor guardian, the guardianship continues with a new guardian.

Anytime that a guardianship is terminated, the former guardian in no longer responsible for handling the Protected Person’s affairs beyond what is legally required.

For example, the former guardian must complete their legal duties related to filing a final report or accounting with the court. Consult with the Judge or an attorney to determine what other actions are required to finalize a guardianship case.