Establishing Guardianship In Indiana
A guardian is an individual appointed by a court to look after the affairs of and make decisions on behalf of a person who is incapacitated. The guardian is empowered to make certain decisions on behalf of the ward.
If an individual has done good legal planning, such as executing a durable power of attorney and health care directive, a guardianship can often be avoided. In the absence of these precautions, it may be necessary to establish guardianship to intervene on behalf of a person who is no longer able to manage his or her own affairs or make appropriate health care decisions.
When Is A Guardian Necessary?
The Law Office of Claire E. Lewis assists family members who are petitioning to become guardians. Claire understands this process can seem daunting and she works to help you fully understand every aspect of the creation of a guardianship. The court will hold a hearing to determine whether the individual for whom you are seeking guardianship is incapacitated. The incapacity could stem from mental infirmity or dementia; insanity or other mental illnesses; or drug abuse or alcoholism. It could also be physical incapacity from severe illness or accident.
A person with any of these issues is not automatically deemed incapable. Old age, by itself, is not sufficient grounds to grant guardianship. The court must find that the individual lacks the capacity to manage their finances or provide self-care, or to give lucid direction to caregivers in these matters. Courts will sometimes limit a guardianship to allow the incapacitated person to exercise control over some portions of his or her life. The guardian should strive to preserve the ward’s dignity and autonomy. The court must also conclude that the nominated guardian is fit for the job.
Discuss Guardianship With Our Elder Law Attorney
Claire will explain the duties of a guardian, eligibility and the process of establishing guardianship. She can also advise on creating advance directives (i.e., power of attorney and a health care representative) to avoid an emergency guardianship proceeding.