Moving an Adult Guardianship from Another State to Alabama

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Elderly Woman smiling to her guardian

Elderly Woman smiling to her guardian

One of the great things about living in the United States is the ability to move from one place to another with ease. For most Americans, moving to a new town in a different state is as easy as finding work, getting a home or apartment, and making a trip to the department of motor vehicles to update licenses and vehicle registrations. For those with a guardianship or conservatorship, a move can be a bit more complicated. Millions of Americans are responsible for the lives of loved ones, and when they must relocate, it can present serious concerns. For those moving to Birmingham, Five Points Law Group is here to help.

What is a Guardianship or Conservatorship?

When an adult becomes incapacitated to the point where they are unable to make legal decisions for  themselves, it may be necessary for a loved one to obtain court appointment to take care of things on their behalf. Some states have just one process (guardianship), while others like Alabama divide the duties into two separate proceedings �’ a guardianship for personal and healthcare decisions and conservatorship for financial and legal concerns.

These are formal court proceedings, where a judge supervises and oversees the ongoing responsibilities of the guardian or conservator. The disabled adult who is no longer able to make decisions is called a ward.

What Happens When a Disabled Adult (Ward) Must Move to Alabama?


Perhaps you are in charge of a loved one like a disabled spouse, parent, or adult child. If life takes you to Alabama, you may be concerned about how you will continue to report to an out-of-state court. The good news is that Alabama law allows you to transfer the out-of-state guardianship to Alabama. Here is how it works:



First, you must petition the local court in the location of the disabled adult’s new residence. The petition should include:

  • A certified copy of the former state’s order, approving the transfer. You will need to get this first in your prior state.
  • A complete inventory of the disabled individual’s estate
  • Proof of adequate bond
  • A proper accounting of assets and liabilities


Next, you must provide notice to all individuals who are entitled to it. These will usually include close family members. You will likely need to appear for a formal hearing in Alabama, in order to be appointed as guardian and/or conservator.

Other Requirements


Finally, within 90 days of the Alabama court issuing a provisional order approving your appointment, the court will have to decide if there are any additional requirements in Alabama that may need to be met. Some other states may not have the same requirements.

How a Lawyer can Help


Courts are protective of disabled adults who can no longer make decisions for themselves. Therefore, it can be a bit of a daunting process for self-represented individuals. There are deadlines and statutory requirements that can be inadvertently missed, which can greatly extend the timeframe for gaining approval. In the meantime, you could face difficulties handling the disabled adult’s affairs, such as medical and financial issues.

Hiring an experienced guardianship attorney at Five Points Law Group can help to minimize the chance of errors being made and help to streamline the process. Likewise, it will free you to focus on taking care of your loved one. For help with transferring an out-of-state guardianship or conservatorship, call Five Points Law Group today.

Burton Dunn
Burton Dunn
Burton currently advises clients on their probate law, elder law and estate planning needs, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans’ Affairs, estate and trust litigation matters, mental health issues, guardianships/conservatorships, and adoptions.

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