A guardian is a person, association or corporation appointed by the Court to have the care and management of the person, the estate, or both, of a minor or an incompetent adult.

  • Minor – A minor is any person under the age of eighteen years of age.
  • Incompetent – An incompetent is any person who is mentally impaired as a result of a mental or physical illness or disability, or mental retardation, or as a result of chronic substance abuse, that the person is incapable of taking proper care of the person’s self or property or fails to provide for that person’s family or other persons for whom the person is charged by law to provide, or any person confined to a correctional institution within the state. 

Types of Guardianships

Person and/or estate: The guardian of the person protects the personal needs of the ward. The guardian of the estate controls and protects the assets of the ward.

• Limited: The guardian’s authority is limited to specific purposes

• Interim: When a guardian can no longer serve, an interim guardian may be appointed for a short time without notice to the ward or family, until a hearing can be set to appoint a successor guardian

• Emergency: A guardian may be Court appointed in an emergency without notice to the ward or family, to serve for a short period of time to protect against injury to the person or estate of the ward

Who May Serve as a Guardian

An adult person who is a resident of Ohio may apply to be the guardian of the person and estate of an incompetent person. The Probate Court must determine that the applicant is a suitable person to serve as Guardian.