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What you should know about adult guardianship

| Mar 23, 2021 | Firm News

If you have a relative who is unable to care for themselves due to mental or physical incapabilities, you may have considered assuming guardianship of this individual. You can work with an Indiana attorney to learn about adult guardianships and whether this is the best choice for your family.

What is a guardian?

A guardian is a court-appointed entity or individual who assumes responsibility for the supervision and care of an incapacitated individual. Guardianship also applies to the supervision of a property belonging to the incapacitated person.

The individual who needs guardianship is known as the “protected person” in the guardianship agreement. A protected person is not able to manage their property or properly care for themselves because of an illness or disability.

Guardian responsibilities

A guardian is responsible for supervising or protecting the disabled individual’s care, and ensuring their finances, assets, and property are rightly managed and preserved. Unless the court limits the guardian’s duties, the guardian assumes responsibility for the protected person’s well-being and is required to regularly inform the courts of the protected person’s status.

In adult guardianships, guardians have the power to enter into contracts, consent to medical care, and determine living arrangements for the protected person. The guardian can also decide if the protected person is fit to marry someone else.

Do adult guardianships have limitations?

Indiana courts are mandated to limit adult guardianships if this is in the protected person’s best interests. The limitations are in place to promote self-reliance and a sense of accomplishment for the protected person.

Unless the courts specifically state otherwise, protected persons in Indiana are still permitted to:

  • Challenge or seek to terminate the guardianship
  • Vote
  • Submit a request to the courts for a different guardian
  • Visit with family members and friends

If you have an incapacitated family member and need to assume adult guardianship over this individual speak with an Indiana family law attorney. It’s important to know what is expected of you and the rights your relative will retain so you can provide the best care for your loved one.