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how to end a guardianship

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  1. When does the guardianship end?
  2. Can I resign as guardian?
  3. Do I have to go to court to end a guardianship?
  4. Who can ask the Court to end the guardianship?
  5. Do I have to fill out court forms?
  6. Will the Court Investigate?
  7. How can I end a Guardianship of the Estate?

For more information on Guardianships, see related pages at this site.


  1. When does the guardianship end?

    A guardianship is a legal relationship that ends when:

    • The child turns 18, or
    • The child dies, or
    • The child's assets are used up (for a Guardianship of the Estate), or
    • A judge decides the guardianship is no longer necessary.

  2. Can I resign as guardian?

    Yes. A guardian of the person or estate can resign. But first, there must be a court hearing. And, you must give notice of the hearing to all relatives who were notified of your appointment as guardian.

    You must show the Court that it would be in the child’s best interest for you to resign. If the judge agrees, s/he will appoint a guardian to replace you.

    If no replacement is available, the child will be taken to the Children's Shelter and will be made a dependent in Juvenile Court.

  3. Do I have to go to court to end a guardianship?

    If the child turns 18 and the guardianship ends automatically, you don’t have to go to court. But, for all other situations, you must go to court.

    If a Guardianship was granted by the Juvenile Court, the hearing must also be in Juvenile Court.

  4. Who can ask the Court to end the guardianship?

    The following people can ask the Court to end the guardianship:

    • The child, if 12 or older
    • The parents of the child, or
    • The guardian

  5. Do I have to fill out court forms?

    Yes. To ask the Court to end a guardianship, you have to fill out:

  6. Will the Court investigate?

    Usually. A Court Investigator will find out information for the Court, including:

    • Where the child will live if the guardianship ends, and
    • If that living arrangement would be bad for the child.
    If there are no alternative guardians, the Court Investigator will refer the case to the Emergency Response Unit of the Social Services Agency.

  7. How can I end a Guardianship of the Estate?

    You must file a final report and accounting with the Court and ask to be discharged as guardian. If the ward is now an adult, s/he can decide not to ask for an accounting. But you, as guardian, must still give a report to the Court with a statement from the ward that s/he doesn’t want an accounting.

More Self-Help pages about Guardianship

© 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara