If you have been named guardian of an incapacitated adult in Arizona, you need to file an annual guardianship report. A guardianship refers to the legal process utilized when a person can no longer make or communicate safe or sound decisions. When that scenario arises, the court appoints a “guardian” to make decisions and protect that person. The person who needs protection is called a “ward.”
Guardianships are often likened to a parent-child relationship. Guardians are responsible for most life decisions for the person they serve. Establishing a guardianship removes considerable rights from the ward. Because of the significance of the rights removed, the courts have set up a way to check that guardians are doing what they are supposed to- the annual guardianship report. Here are some FAQs about the report.
When do you need to file the report?
Under A.R.S. 14-5315, a guardian must submit a written report to the court annually. According to the Arizona Rules of Probate Procedure, the report should be filed according to the rules of the county’s Superior Court. For the majority of superior courts in Arizona, the first report you submit should cover the time period from the date the letters of appointment were issued through the last day of the 9th month after the appointment. After the initial report, the annual report must be filed on or before the anniversary of the date the letters of appointment were issued.
A guardian must also file a report upon resignation or upon termination of the ward’s disability.
What should be included in the report?
Under Arizona law the guardian must included these nine things in the annual guardianship report:
- The type, name and address of the home or facility where the ward lives and the name of the person in charge of the home.
- The number of times the guardian has seen the ward in the last 12 months.
- The date the guardian last saw the ward.
- The name and address of the wards physician or registered nurse practitioner.
- The date the ward was last seen by a physician or a registered nurse practitioner.
- A copy of the ward’s physician’s or registered nurse practitioner’s report to the guardian. If none exists, a summary of the physician’s or registered nurse practitioner’s observations on the ward’s physical and mental condition.
- Any major changes in the ward’s physical or mental condition observed by the guardian in the last year.
- The guardian’s opinion on whether the guardianship should be continued.
- A summary of the services provided to the ward by a governmental agency and the name of the individual responsible for the ward’s affairs with the agency.
To help you keep track, many of counties courts offer annual reporting packets. These packets can be filled out and filed for your annual reporting: Maricopa County, Pima County, Cochise County, Mohave County and Coconino County. We recommend an attorney review your annual report before you file it with the court.
How do I file the report?
The procedures for filing the annual report depend on your jurisdiction. For instructions on how
Regardless of your jurisdiction, you must mail a copy of the annual report to the people listed in the declaration of mailing. You must mail a copy to the ward, conservator, ward’s spouse or parents if the ward is not married, and the court appointed lawyer. You also must mail it to any other interested person who has filed a demand notice with the court. Plus, you should also keep a copy of the report for yourself.
The original annual report should be filed with the superior court of whatever county you live in. The report should be filed in person with the clerk or by mail.
For your records, you should request the court clerk stamp a copy of the report and mailed back to you. This will serve as proof that you filed it in case something happens.