In Indiana, parents, family members and others who are responsible for a child with issues that may render them unable to manage their own affairs will need to think about their options once that child approaches adulthood. For people in these circumstances, an adult guardianship might be worthwhile. It is a significant responsibility and there are key factors that should be understood beforehand. This is true from the perspective of the protected person (or ward) and the guardian.
Responsibilities, decision-making authority and limits to adult guardianships
The goal of a guardianship is to ensure that the ward is shielded from potential damage that can arise from living on their own. The guardian will supervise and provide care for that person while keeping the court abreast of finances, assets and property. The guardian will essentially stand in for the ward when making important decisions like allowing medical care, living arrangements, handling finances, agreeing to a contract and even allowing a marriage. Guardianships can be limited. This is based on serving the best interests of the ward. It can specify the duration of the guardianship, how much authority the guardian has and how extensive the decision-making authority is.
The ward can still make various decisions on his or her own. That can include trying to terminate the guardianship or calling it into question; asking for a new guardian; visiting others; voting and more. The guardianship can last for the ward’s lifetime, but in Indiana, the guardianship can end if the ward is deemed capable of making his or her own choices and is no longer incapacitated. It can be modified to suit changes to the ward’s situation such as sufficient improvement to make some decisions while still needing a level of protection in others. A hearing will be needed to make these changes. Guardians have the right to resign from their duties, though it cannot go into effect until it is approved by the court.
Proper preparation is needed to deal with adult guardianships
For people who are responsible for a youth with challenges preventing them from fully caring for themselves, it is crucial to be prepared for when that child reaches adulthood. Adult guardianships can be beneficial as it will give peace of mind that sufficient care and attention is given. When thinking about a guardianship or addressing any issue within a guardianship, having experienced assistance can be essential to serve the best interests of everyone involved.