Changing the order

Circumstances might arise where the terms of the order or the actual appointment need to be changed. This could be for example, when more powers are needed or where the guardian is to be replaced. In most cases it will be the Sheriff who will decide and agree the change.

How do I change the powers given to me by the Sheriff?

The court order will detail the powers that you have. If you think you need additional powers you can make an application for a variation to the sheriff court. It is recommended that you take legal advice when considering a variation.

Once the variation has been submitted to the sheriff court, we will be notified of the Sheriff's decision. If the variation is granted we will:

  • update the public register
  • issue a new certificate of appointment
  • notify relevant parties of the variation.

What if the guardianship order is no longer required?

Circumstances may arise where a guardianship order is no longer appropriate, e.g. the adult recovers sufficient capacity to make their own decisions or the adult's personal welfare or financial affairs can be managed by another means. It is recommended that you seek legal advice on how best to proceed if you think an order should be recalled.

Recalling a welfare guardianship

Anyone can apply to the Sheriff to request that a welfare guardianship order is recalled. The local authority in the area where the adult lives or the Mental Welfare Commission, have authority to recall a welfare guardianship.

Recalling a financial guardianship

Anyone can apply to recall a financial guardianship order. The application is either made to the local sheriff court or to the Public Guardian. The application to the Public Guardian is less intrusive and might be appropriate where it is unlikely that objections will be made to the recall application. The completed application form should be sent to us.

Once we receive it we will send a copy to interested parties to inform them of the application and to allow them the opportunity to object. If objections are received the application will be sent to the Sheriff for a decision to be made. If no objections are made the Public Guardian will make the decision to either grant or decline the recall application. This decision can be appealed to the Sheriff.

Stopping being a financial guardian

If you think you are no longer able to act on behalf of the adult and a joint or substitute guardian is appointed, you may resign providing they are willing to continue or start to act. You can resign by giving notice of this by writing to us. If you have welfare powers you will need to inform the Mental Welfare Commission and the local authority in the areas where the adult lives.

If there is no joint or substitute guardian you will not be able to resign until a replacement guardian has been appointed by the Sheriff.

Replacing a financial guardian's appointment

Anyone can apply to the Sheriff to have a financial guardian replaced. Replacement is when a new application nominates someone else to be appointed. This might be appropriate e.g. when the guardian dies, moves to another part of the country or where the guardian wants to resign but there is no joint or substitute guardian to take over. It is recommended that you seek legal advice if you are thinking about replacement.

In some cases we will apply to the Sheriff to have a financial guardian replaced, usually because there are issues with how they are carrying out their statutory duties.

Removing a financial guardian's appointment

A guardian can be removed from their appointment by the Sheriff if a joint or substitute guardian exists and is prepared to take over the acting or continue to act. Removing the powers of an existing guardian usually happens because the guardian is no longer able or failing in the exercise of their powers. It is recommended that you seek legal advice if you are thinking about applying to remove a guardian.