A guardianship is a legal relationship established by the Probate Court where an individual (referred to as “the guardian”) has the authority and duty to care for another’s person or property (referred to as “the ward”).
GUARDIANSHIP OF A MINOR:
RC 2111.12 governs guardianships for any person less than eighteen (18) years of age who has neither a father nor a mother, whose parents are unsuitable to have custody of such minor, or whose interests will be promoted by a guardianship. Alternatively, a guardianship is granted to assure that the needs of the ward are met. The person who is a minor and is receiving guardianship services is referred to as the “ward.” The person who is appointed by the court to be responsible for the minor ward’s person and/or property is called the “guardian.”
GUARDIANSHIPS OF AN ADULT INCOMPETENT:
RC 2111.01 (d) defines "Incompetents" as adults who are so mentally impaired as a result of a mental or physical illness or disability, or mental retardation, or as a result of chronic substance abuse that they are incapable of taking proper care of themselves, their property or their family. Persons who are confined to a penal institution within Ohio are also subject to having a guardian appointed for their assets.
The Ohio Supreme Court mandates that the guardian will be required to attend a free 6-hour guardian training program through the Supreme Court of Ohio, have a criminal background check, and attend a 3-hour continuing guardian education every year as long as the guardianship is in place.
Due to the technical aspect of the legal process, the language, and the permanency of the outcomes, the Probate Court strongly recommends that all applicants for appointment as a guardian seek legal counsel. This is especially true if the applicant is seeking to be appointed guardian of the estate.
Having an attorney is critically important for guardians of an estate of an individual because of the complexity of the accounting, investment and expenditure laws. Failing to follow the proper laws can result in contempt citations, sanctions, and even criminal charges. The attorney fees for services to the guardianship are subject to approval by the Court as allowable expenses to be paid from guardianship assets.
Good legal advice will hasten the probate process, prevent costly mistakes, and lessen the chances that the Applicant will be faced with suits by heirs, creditors, or family members.
DEPUTY CLERKS OF THE PROBATE COURT ARE PROHIBITED BY OHIO LAW FROM ASSISTING IN THE PREPARATION OF THE REQUIRED FORMS OR GIVING LEGAL ADVICE.