Guardianship and conservatorship in Ohio are legal arrangements designed to protect individuals who cannot make decisions for themselves due to incapacity or disability.
The probate court oversees the selection of guardians and conservators. It seeks to appoint responsible individuals who are capable and focused on the best interest of the incapacitated person.
How are guardians or conservators appointed?
Typically, a concerned family member or other interested party petitions the probate court to appoint a guardian or conservator. The court conducts hearings and evaluates evidence to determine the individual’s incapacity. It then evaluates the suitability of the proposed guardian or conservator.
What is guardianship?
Guardianship addresses the personal and healthcare needs of an incapacitated person. The probate court appoints a guardian to make decisions about the individual’s living arrangements, medical treatment and other personal matters.
The appointment of a guardian is a serious matter and is governed by section 2111.02 of the Ohio Revised Code. Nominations must be in writing and bear the signatures of two witnesses.
What is a conservatorship?
Conservatorship deals with the financial affairs of an incapacitated person. The court appoints a conservator to safeguard the financial well-being of those who are unable to manage their own finances due to age, disability or other factors.
The court will conduct a thorough examination of potential conservators. It seeks to ensure that the candidate is a qualified and trustworthy individual.
Ohio law prioritizes the least restrictive alternatives when considering guardianship or conservatorship. The court aims to balance the need for protection with the individual’s right to autonomy. The court may choose to take less intrusive measures before resorting to guardianship or conservatorship. This may include powers of attorney or advance directives.