Taking on the role of a legal guardian of a child or a guardian in case of incapacitation is incredibly important. In most cases, this role is taken on by a family member, and this should only be done if you fully understand the responsibilities it comes with. According to a survey by the National Core Indicators of Aging and Disabilities, 81.3% of guardians are family members, while public guardians only represent 11.3%.
Regardless of how you’ve found yourself in this position, you must take it seriously. If you’d like to speak with a guardianship attorney about establishing guardianship or exploring the legal parameters around guardianship, contact me. I serve those in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout Central Ohio.
Frequently Asked Questions About Guardianship
If someone becomes incapacitated and can no longer take care of their own basic needs, or if a minor child is left without a parent, a judge will appoint someone to be their legal guardian.
What's the Difference Between a Guardian and a Conservator?
The primary difference between the two designations is that a guardian generally takes care of all healthcare and non-monetary needs, while a conservator is responsible for managing the finances of the ward.
What Are the Duties of a Guardian?
A guardian typically administers day-to-day care for their ward, including providing adequate food, shelter, medical care, education, and clothing. This also means they must coordinate any specialized care the ward may need, such as hiring an in-home nurse. Your duties will also vary depending on whether you’ve been granted full or limited guardianship.
Can Guardians Ever Handle Someone's Money?
If you’re specifically appointed the guardian over the estate, you can handle all the ward’s finances. However, in most cases, a guardian can only handle small amounts of money to meet daily needs, and any expenditures over a certain amount will need to be approved.
Are Guardianships of Minor Children the Same as Adoptions?
The main difference between an adoption and a guardianship is that an adoption is permanent and final, and a guardianship is temporary. In cases of minor children, a parent doesn’t automatically give up all their rights when they agree to a guardian.
How Long Does a Guardianship Last?
There is no set amount of time that a guardianship will last, but it can end for several reasons, such as the guardian passing away, the minor child turning 18, a judge deeming the guardianship no longer necessary, the ward passing away (typically in cases of incapacitation), or if the assets of the ward have been depleted.
Can Guardianships Be Appointed in an Emergency?
In extreme cases, a court may appoint a temporary guardianship for 15 to 90 days, depending on the circumstances. These guardianships are usually only in place until a formal hearing can be scheduled with a judge to determine a long-term solution.
How Can an Attorney Help Me With the Guardianship Process?
Becoming a guardian is a huge undertaking and one that also comes with several legal responsibilities. Whether you’re trying to appoint yourself the legal guardian of a loved one or you’ve recently been appointed a guardian, you need to educate yourself about how state and federal laws will affect your position. An experienced attorney can help walk you through this complicated process and ensure you fully understand the legal implications of your actions and decisions.
Experienced Guidance You Can Trust
If you’re in Columbus, Ohio, and would like to speak with a qualified attorney about guardianships, reach out to me to schedule a consultation. I have the knowledge, resources, and practice to get you on the correct path while keeping your best interests in mind.