Cleveland Legal Guardianship Lawyer

When a person is unable to care for themselves, a guardian may be assigned by the courts. The appointed guardian will oversee the individual’s affairs, ensuring their personal and financial well-being is protected.

If you are concerned a loved one cannot care for themselves or manage their affairs on their own, we recommend contacting our legal guardianship attorneys in Cleveland, Ohio. With over 100 years of collective experience, you can rest assured knowing we have the expertise and resources to handle all of your family law matters, including the establishment of legal guardianship.

The Slater & Zurz legal team understands that it can be challenging for those seeking guardianship on behalf of a loved one. It can also be a challenge for those wishing to change guardians or end the arrangement altogether. That is why our legal guardianship attorneys work diligently to fully understand the needs of those involved and fight on their behalf to secure the ideal resolution.

To schedule a consultation, reach out to our Cleveland guardianship lawyers today. (440) 557-2861

Types of Legal Guardianship in Cleveland

Whether you want to protect an elderly loved family member, an adult with mental limitations, or a loved one under the age of 18, we can help you obtain guardianship over their affairs. Ohio recognizes three types of guardianships.

  • Guardian of the person – In this case, a guardian has physical custody of the ward and makes the decisions relating to their mental and physical health, as well as other non-financial matters.
  • Guardian of the estate – A guardian is appointed to handle all of the financial affairs and estate of the individual.
  • Guardian of the person and estate – These individuals are given the ability to make personal and financial decisions on behalf of the ward.

Limited Guardianships

Courts can also appoint a guardian who is only given the ability to make limited decisions in certain areas of the ward’s life. These arrangements are known as “limited guardianships.”

Emergency Guardianship

When a judge feels that immediate action is required to protect a person or their property from harm, they can appoint an emergency guardian. These guardianships can only be in place for a maximum of 72 hours and do not require prior notice to the ward.

Interim Guardianship

When a guardian resigns or is removed by the court, the judge will appoint a temporary guardian to handle the ward’s personal affairs and protect their estate.


Courts order a co-guardianship when they appoint two or more individuals to act as guardians for one individual.

When a Guardian Should be Appointed

Cleveland, Ohio, courts will consider guardianship when they feel an individual lacks the ability to properly manage their personal and financial affairs. A guardian may be appointed to make important decisions on behalf of a minor or adult in several situations.

Minor Guardianships

A guardian is typically appointed to a minor when one or both parents:

  • Suffer from mental illness
  • Are in the military and will be deployed
  • Are severely disabled and unable to care for their child
  • Have been convicted of a crime and ordered to serve a jail or prison sentence
  • Have entered a rehabilitation program for alcohol or drug abuse

Minor guardianships are put into place to ensure the child is in a safe, stable, and loving environment where their mental, emotional, and physical needs are taken care of.

Adult Guardianships

Adults may be in need of a guardian when they are unable to care for their personal or financial needs as a result of:

  • Mental or emotional illness
  • Mental disorder or deficiency
  • Physical disability
  • Drug abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Jail or prison confinement
  • Disappearance

Need help with legal guardianship in Cleveland? Call Slater & Zurz today. (440) 557-2861

The Difference Between Guardianship and Conservatorships

Guardianships and conservatorships are court-ordered arrangements that aim to assist and protect those who are unable to make their own decisions. There is often a bit of confusion between the two, but there are some key differences that vary from state to state.


A guardian is appointed to protect and care for an individual known as a “ward.” The ward is unable to make critical decisions regarding their personal or financial affairs either because they are under the age of 18 or have mental limitations that affect their ability to make these decisions.


A conservatorship, on the other hand, is an action initiated and requested by an adult who wishes to have assistance in handling their personal affairs and/or estate. The adult known as the petitioner is a mentally competent individual but has physical limitations that impact their ability to oversee their affairs.

Contesting a Legal Guardianship

Often the ward or their loved ones don’t agree with the proposed guardianship or the person appointed as legal guardian. In this case, they have the right to contest guardianship in court.

Once the appointment has already been established, it is challenging to have it reversed. So, there is a much higher chance of success if you contest the guardianship before it is granted. An individual can’t challenge the appointment of a guardian simply because they don’t like it. There must be compelling reasons why it is not in the ward’s best interests.

Hiring a Cleveland Legal Guardianship Lawyer

When someone wishes to establish a guardianship or challenge the appointment of a guardian, it is highly critical to have an experienced legal guardianship lawyer on your side. An experienced and diligent attorney will thoroughly assess the specifics to determine the ideal resolution.

When establishing guardianship, a skilled attorney can assist in every step of the process. Your lawyer can help secure the desired outcome by:

  • Detailing the applicable guardianship laws in Ohio
  • Explaining your legal rights
  • Give expert advice on all alternative options
  • Preparing the initial petition and filing it with the local Probate Court
  • Representing you during any court hearings
  • Showing the court why guardianship is needed by providing evidence, such as medical and psychological evaluations.
  • Advocating on your behalf to secure the resolution best in line with your needs

Speak to our legal guardianship attorney by calling (440) 557-2861.

Frequently Asked Questions about Legal Guardianship in Ohio
Although there are several situations where legal guardianship is the best option, there may be alternatives. Guardianship can be intrusive and highly contested because it takes away the ward’s ability to make their own decisions. So it is good to look at less restrictive options. These include a power of attorney, representative payees, trusts, limited guardianships, and case management.

Adult guardianship is a court-ordered arrangement where a guardian is authorized to make may be necessary when the ward cannot care for themselves. These guardianships often come about as a result of:

  • Mental illness or disorder
  • Mental deficiency
  • Physical illness
  • Disability
  • Chronic use of drugs or alcohol
  • Confinement
  • Disappearance

There are three types of Ohio legal guardianships. Guardianships of:

The person – This type of guardianship is granted when the ward needs help with personal matters.

The estate – When the ward needs help with their financial matters or estate, this form of guardianship is granted.

The person and estate – When the individual or ward needs help with their personal needs and financial matters.

Contact the Top Legal Guardianship Lawyers in Cleveland, Ohio

If an individual is no longer willing or able to make decisions regarding their personal care or their finances, they may need someone to do so on their behalf. By appointing guardianship or conservatorship, the individual, their loved ones, and the courts can ensure the person’s financial health and personal well-being are protected.

We encourage you to contact our leading family law attorneys or Probate lawyers in Cleveland if you need help with a guardianship or conservatorship matter. Our experienced team is dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals and their loved ones in all family law matters.

When experience matters, turn to the skilled and dedicated legal team at Slater & Zurz. We offer a confidential consultations, so you have the information you need to move forward with your case effectively. To get started, call (440) 557-2861 or reach out to us online.