How Elder Guardianship Works
How Ohio courts assign decision-making authorities when an elder can no longer tend to their needsBy Judy Malmon, J.D. | Last updated on August 22, 2022
- Guardianship of the Estate: provides the authority to make financial decisions, including paying or collecting debts, managing investments and making purchases
- Guardianship of the Person: authority to manage the ward’s personal needs, including where they live, medical care decisions and choices about food, clothing, recreation and personal care
- Guardianship of the Person and Estate: comprehensive guardianship, with legal authority to make all decisions on the ward’s behalf
- Limited Guardianship: restricts the powers granted to the guardian to only those areas where there is a need, such as for a medical care decision
- Co-Guardianship: more than one individual may serve equally as guardians
- Emergency Guardianship: allows the probate court to issue an order without a hearing where circumstances require swift action to prevent injury to either the person or the estate of someone who is incompetent. An emergency order lasts for up to 72 hours, and may be extended, but for no longer than 30 days.
- Conservatorship (or “voluntary guardianship”): there is no requirement or finding of incompetency here, merely an individual who has difficulty managing certain aspects of their life requesting the court to appoint someone to assist them and assign specific powers. A conservatorship will terminate upon a finding of incompetency.
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