Adult Guardianship Laws in Indiana



If your loved one is struggling to remain independent and handle their affairs, you may begin to wonder if an adult guardianship is a good option for protecting their interests. Adult guardianship involves a judge giving someone the responsibility to make decisions regarding another person’s affairs, which may include finances, health care, or daily life. Anybody considering adult guardianship in Indiana will want to work with an experienced Indiana guardianship lawyer who will thoroughly explain your legal options.

The need for an adult guardian is not always clear-cut, and judges frequently have to wrestle with whether or not such an appointment is truly necessary. Beyond the need for appointing a guardian, the matter of who will serve as the guardian can also be contentious. This post will cover some of the basics of Indiana guardianships, but it is always best to consult with an experienced attorney regarding your unique situation.

The Basics of Adult Guardianship Laws in Indiana

In Indiana, a guardian is a person or entity appointed by the court to handle the care and supervision of an incapacitated person or the property of an incapacitated person. An incapacitated person is someone whose current condition or disabilities prevent them from providing self-care or managing their own affairs.

An adult under guardianship will still retain the right to vote, challenge or end the guardianship, request an appointment of a different guardian, and participate in other routine activities such as visiting with friends or family. For persons with permanent disabilities, guardianships in Indiana often remain in place throughout their lifetime, but state law requires termination of a guardianship when an incapacitated person dies or if the court determines the guardianship is no longer necessary.

Potential Limitations on Indiana Guardianships

The court will set the specific limitations of each guardianship. A guardian could potentially be responsible for matters such as providing or supervising the healthcare of a person with disabilities or ensuring proper preservation and management of their property, finances, and assets. In most cases, a guardian will be required to regularly inform the court of the status of these matters.

Courts in Indiana are directed to limit guardianship when appropriate to encourage the self-improvement, self-reliance, and independence of the incapacitated person. A guardianship may have limits on the length of time it is valid, the guardian’s scope of authority, and more. Both the person petitioning for guardianship and the person subject to protection are allowed to seek limited guardianship.

Alternatives to Guardianship

Indiana law acknowledges that certain legally recognized supports may address an incapacitated person’s limitations without the need for guardianship in some cases. Such supports may include, but are not limited to:

  • Powers of Attorney (POAs)
  • Informal supports
  • Living wills and advance directives
  • Supported Decision-Making Agreements
  • Educational Surrogates
  • Authorizations to share information
  • Protective orders
  • Healthcare Representatives
  • Team-based or shared decision-making

There are many nuances to consider when determining which type of legal protection may be best for your loved one and your family. A knowledgeable guardianship attorney can assist you in understanding these choices and how they might impact your situation.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Indiana Guardianship Lawyer

If you are seeking adult guardianship in Indiana, do not try to handle this complex matter by yourself. You will benefit by having Spagnolo & Hoeksema, LLC, on your side because we know how to achieve the most favorable outcomes in these cases.

Our firm can work closely with you and make sure that you are able to provide the court with the necessary evidence to support your claims and grant you guardianship. Call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation that will allow us to take a much better look at the specifics of your case and provide solid legal advice.

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