When a person is incapacitated, mentally disabled, or simply too young to make crucial decisions regarding their health, well-being, or finances, the courts can appoint someone to decide for them. A guardian assumes responsibility for making either limited or all-encompassing decisions about the person’s personal matters, such as medical care, housing, education, and recreation, as well as the individual’s financial matters.
To establish this relationship, formal guardianship must be ordered by the courts. With over 30 years of experience, our Akron legal guardianship attorneys at Slater & Zurz have acquired extensive knowledge and expertise relating to the legal guardianship process.
If you are seeking legal guardianship in Akron, we will put our experience and resources to work for you. Our attorneys will carefully consider the details of your situation and provide you with comprehensive guidance on how best to move forward.
Call today for a FREE consultation with a leading legal guardianship lawyer in Akron, Ohio (330) 762-0700
Legal Guardianship of a Child
The Summit County courts will issue guardianship when a minor child does not have at least one parent who is capable or willing to care for them. Legal guardianship will ensure the child is adequately cared for and that their education and upbringing are appropriate. Appointing a guardian may also be necessary to protect any significant assets that come into a minor’s possession.
Minor guardianship is generally warranted when one or both parents:
- Are in the military and will be deployed
- Have a serious mental illness
- Are severely disabled
- Have been convicted of a crime and are ordered to serve time in jail or prison
- Are you in a rehabilitation program for drug or alcohol addiction
When the courts are considering a proposed guardianship, they look closely at what is in the child’s best interests. A judge will want the child to be raised in a safe, stable, and loving environment, so if they deem it necessary, the judge will appoint a guardian to care for the child and consistently act in their best interests.
Adult Legal Guardianship in Akron
Adult guardianship is a court-ordered relationship in which an individual is authorized to make decisions on behalf of an adult who cannot make such decisions for themselves. A guardian can be appointed to make personal decisions, such as medical care and housing, make financial decisions on the ward’s behalf, or have the legal right to make decisions on both the ward’s personal and financial situation.
Adult legal guardianships are generally necessary when the adult is unable to take care of themselves due to:
- Mental illness
- Mental deficiency
- Mental disorder
- Physical illness or disability
- Chronic use of drugs
- Chronic use of alcohol
A skilled guardianship attorney will need to show the probate court the individual in question is incapable of making important personal and financial decisions and that it would be in their best interests to appoint a guardian to properly manage their affairs.
Consult with an experienced guardianship attorney in Akron, Ohio, by calling (330) 762-0700 or contacting us online.
Types of Akron Legal Guardianship
Our skilled team of attorneys can accurately determine which type of guardianship best fits your situation. In Ohio, several different types may apply.
Guardianship of a ward – The guardian has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the person, referred to as the “ward.” These decisions include matters such as medical care, accommodations, arrangements for food, clothing, and other basic necessities. If the ward is a minor, the guardian will also make decisions regarding their education and extracurricular activities. However, guardians of a ward do not have the authority to make financial decisions on the ward’s behalf.
Guardianship of an estate – The guardian has the legal right to make all financial decisions pertaining to an individual’s property or estate. However, they do not have the authority to make decisions about the ward’s health, care, or well-being.
Guardianship of a ward and estate – When a court awards guardianship of both a ward and their estate, it means the guardian has the right to make decisions about the care of the person and those to ensure the protection of his or her property.
Limited guardianship – The courts generally prefer this less restrictive form of guardianship over full legal guardianship. It allows the courts to give a guardian decision-making authority over only a portion of the person’s life. Examples include giving a guardian the right to decide a person’s medical care or approve psychiatric treatment and medication. The ward maintains the ability and right to make their own decisions in any area not covered by guardianship.
Emergency guardianship – Courts will appoint emergency guardianship when they feel immediate action is required to prevent significant harm to a person or their estate. An emergency guardianship can be issued without prior notice to the ward but can only be in place for a maximum of 72 hours.
Interim guardianship – When a former guardian has been removed or resigned, the courts can appoint a temporary guardian to care for the ward or protect the ward’s estate.
Co-guardianship – A co-guardianship may be established when two or more people are to act on behalf of the ward at the same time.
There may be times when you disagree with the need for a guardianship or with the person named as guardian. You may also wish to contest or terminate an existing guardianship. In these cases, you can let the judge know of your concerns by objecting to guardianship in court.
When a guardianship is not yet in place, you can attend the court hearing on the proposed application for guardianship and discuss your concerns in court at that time.
If a legal guardian has already been appointed, contesting its establishment can be more complicated. You can file a motion to set aside the order, but the reason for doing so can’t simply be that you disagree with the court’s decision. This option is only available when you believe the guardianship was obtained through:
This motion typically must be filed within six months of the appointment of a guardian.
Removing or Replacing a Legal Guardian
Depending on the circumstances, you may wish to ask the court to either remove or replace the appointed guardian. This can be due to a failure in performing their duties, mismanagement of the estate, or some other reason indicating they are no longer suitable to act as guardians. In these cases, anyone can ask the judge to remove the guardian. However, you must file paperwork in order to ask to be appointed as their replacement.
Should you choose to ask the court to terminate the guardianship entirely, you can file an “Application to Terminate Guardianship.” If the court deems it no longer necessary for guardianship to be in place, they will terminate the order.
Call (330) 762-0700 today to arrange a FREE consultation with an Akron legal guardianship lawyer.
Speak with an Akron Legal Guardianship Lawyer
At Slater & Zurz, our qualified family law attorneys will help you determine what type of guardianship is most appropriate for your situation and guide you through the entire process from start to finish. We can also effectively assist you in terminating or objecting to an existing guardianship or contesting a proposed guardianship with family law and Probate Lawyer services in Akron, Canton, and Cleveland, Ohio counties.
To learn more about your options and how we can help, call (330) 762-0700 or contact us online to arrange a FREE consultation with one of our skilled legal guardianship attorneys in Akron. We can expertly assist in all types of guardianships as well as all other family law matters.