GUARDIANSHIP OF A PERSON
The guardianship over an individual is something that is sought by persons virtually every day across the State of Indiana. Some seek guardianship over a minor, some over an adult. The reasons for seeking a guardianship vary widely. Often, guardianship is sought due to mental incapacity of someone, or it might be a physical disability that requires a person be cared for by a guardian. It could be that someone was injured in a car accident and needs temporary (or permanent) guardianship over their person and their financial affairs.
Guardianship Over a Minor
It is not uncommon to seek to have a guardianship over a minor by a parent. It can be that the child is handicapped and thus deemed, by the law, as incompetent. In other words, the child is unable to manage his affairs. Typically, this kind of guardianship will occur when the child is nearing his or her 18th birthday. Once the child reaches his majority, technically, the parent has no authority to manage the affairs of their child, even if the child is mentally handicapped. Thus, a guardianship becomes necessary in anticipation of the child reaching majority age.
While it is possible to wait until the child is eighteen years of age, the problem with that is the complications that can arise during the pendency of the guardianship. Legally, the parents have no legal authority over the child at that time because the child is now an adult in the eyes of the law. Parents who raise children who are mentally handicapped cannot afford to have a lapse in their authority to care for the child.
A guardianship may be established for a child because of the temporary incapacity of a parent. Or, a guardianship might be established where parents have died and the new caretaker for the child has to have legal control and custody of the child. A guardianship does that.
Guardianship over the person and the Estate
Whatever the reason for the guardianship, whether it is temporary, or permanent, it will be necessary to divulge the assets of the ward, and to show the Court that the guardian is going to control those assets for the ward. A bond can be required in some instances, and there will be a reporting requirement by the Court. In other words, the Court will ask for an accounting from the Guardian.
Guardianship Over an Adult
Taking guardianship over an adult by another adult is a bit different than with a juvenile, but in many respects, it is the same. The statue governing a petition for guardianship in the state of Indiana is found at Indiana Code § 29-3-5-1. The law notes that “(a) Any person may file a petition for the appointment of a person to serve as guardian for an incapacitated person or minor under this chapter…” While the statute provides that any person can file, it does not mean that any person can serve. The Court looks closely at who wants to be guardian, the relationship, the ability to serve, and the reason for serving. If there are assets, the Court is going to expect the guardian to act as a fiduciary, which means the guardian will have some legal duties to take care of the assets of the person.
When a guardianship is sought over an adult (or a child over 14), the Court asks that the one for whom the guardianship is sought be given notice of the petition, and that they have the opportunity to be present at the hearing, The statute allows a waiver of appearance, and it may allow the person to not appear where it is not in the best interest of the individual, or if they are physically infirm. In such instances, usually a letter or other evidence from a doctor or other medical provider can be given to the Court to show that the appearance of the individual is not necessary, or is impossible, or otherwise dangerous to the health and well being of the individual. However, the Court is going to want some evidence of this fact before it will waive the appearance of the individual.
Guardianship is Perfect Tool for Caring for a Loved One
[ReviewAZON asin=”1143387902″ display=”inlinepost”]A guardianship is a great tool for taking control of the life and assets of an individual for their well being. So many people are in need of someone who cares, someone who will help them do the things they are simply unable to do for themselves. A guardianship provides the perfect vehicle to care for someone who is unable to take care of themselves.
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