Incompetent adults and children in the long term custody of a non-parent typically need a guardian to manage their business and health related affairs. A guardianship is sought through a legal proceeding initiated with the filing of a petition in the county probate court. The individual over whom the guardianship is sought is commonly referred to as the ward or ward of the court. These proceedings are most generally handled by a probate attorney on behalf of the person petitioning the court to be appointed guardian.

The petitioner may seek a guardianship over the person or the person and their estate. Guardians who manage the estate of a ward of the court must file bi-annual reports with the court which contain a detailed accounting of the estate. The guardian makes all legal decisions for the ward and reports to the court on a bi-annual basis as long as the guardianship is active. When there is no longer any need for a guardianship, either because the ward has reached the age of majority or the ward has passed on, the guardian must file to close the guardianship and submit a final accounting.
Guardians must meet the approval of the court and therefore the guardian must not have any felony convictions for matters of dishonesty or other personal issues which might negatively impact their ability to perform in a position of trust. Once a guardian is appointed by the Court they can do virtually anything that a competent adult could do legally for themselves.
We understand the stress in regards to a guardianship issue with a child you love. Knowing all of your legal options can help you make decisions off facts, not worries or emotion. When dealing with guardianship in Indiana legal issues, we have years of experience in these matters, and we know what it takes to accomplish your sensitive family goals. Call us today for a free telephone consultation. Call 317-939-3000.

Indiana law sets forth the legal and procedural mechanisms necessary to establish a guardianship. The law is intended to allow for an adult person to manage the business affairs and health related concerns of those who are incapacitated. The term incapacitated is a condition that is established by a Court of law, not a physician. However, it is generally necessary for a licensed physician to examine a person over whom a guardianship is being sought to determine whether that individual is mentally and/or physically capable of managing their own affairs. Those findings, when submitted to the Court help form the factual basis by which the Court will reach a finding as to whether or not a person is incapacitated or not. Children under the age of 18 are incapacitated automatically, and may require a guardian in situations where they do not have at least one parent to care for them.

Indiana’s Guardianship Law can be found within the Indiana Code at 29-3-1-1. The law requires an interested person to petition the court in the county of domicile where the alleged incapacitated individual resides. Notice to family members is required. The Petitioner seeking to be appointed as guardian must also satisfy the Court that they are a fit and proper person to be granted the authority to exercise the powers and duties of a guardian.

Once a guardianship is established, the Court generally supervises the activity of the guardian by requiring the filing of an accounting every two years, while the ward remains incapacitated. When there is no further need for a guardianship, either due to death of the ward or when the ward reaches the age of majority, then the guardian must submit a final accounting along with a petition to terminate the guardianship. Call or contact us today for a free telephone consultation. Call 317-939-3000.

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Guardianship in Indiana

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