Most legal adults in Ohio have total control over their own affairs. They determine for themselves what health care they should receive and how to manage their finances. They are responsible for any mistakes or oversights they might make.
Unfortunately, not every adult is capable of making decisions in their own best interests or managing their own finances. Some people have physical or mental health challenges that prevent them from consistently meeting their own needs and acting in their own best interests. Occasionally, family members of adults struggling with independence may go to court in pursuit of a guardianship.
When is adult guardianship an option for concerned family members in Ohio?
When a minor with disabilities turns 18
Many adult guardianships begin as soon as a child technically matures out of parental oversight and authority. When a young adult has a disabling medical condition and depends on their parents for ongoing support, their parents can preemptively request guardianship to maintain the authority that they could otherwise lose when the child becomes a legal adult.
When older adults begin to struggle
Guardianship is also an option years after someone begins living independently. Cognitive decline due to age or health issues like Alzheimer’s disease might warrant guardianship. Someone’s diagnosis of a debilitating mental health disorders, like schizophrenia, could also lead to adult guardianship. Injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, might make it impossible for someone to live on their own and handle their own affairs.
Generally speaking, those seeking guardianship of an adult need medical and financial records supporting their claims. Witness and expert testimony could also help convince the courts that guardianship is necessary. Acting to protect a vulnerable loved one sometimes requires limiting their personal control.