Who do courts consider to become guardians?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Not just anyone can become a guardian for an incapacitated person. Indiana courts take granting someone the power of guardianship very seriously, and will scrutinize guardian candidates for particular factors that make someone a good fit to care for another person. According to FindLaw, the state probate code provides courts guidance for how they should proceed.

Naturally, the courts grant family members strong consideration, particularly relatives who are closely related to a potential ward. Possible guardians include a spouse, an adult child, or a parent. Courts may also consider anyone related to a disabled person and has lived with that person for more than six months prior to filing a guardianship petition.

When it comes to non-family members, courts will usually look for a variety of factors. A court may decide that someone with a durable power of attorney over the disabled person is the best choice. Additionally, a disabled person may nominate someone who is already the caretaker of the disabled person or who is presently paying the care bills.

Some parents prepare for the possibility that their child may need a guardian. They include in a will a provision to appoint a person to serve as guardian in the event their child suffers incapacitation. Sometimes this provision is part of a separate document. Courts may enforce such wishes, but it requires at least two witnesses attesting to the document.

Courts will do their best to honor the wishes of a disabled person and family members, but they will also consider the best interests of the person who needs guardianship. It is possible a person closely related to a disabled person might not receive the guardianship appointment. So when families choose a guardian, it may be beneficial to determine how capable the potential guardian is to care for someone else.

This article is written only for educational purposes. Due to the varying needs of Indiana families, do not consider this information as any legal advice for your situation.