There are times when an individual recognizes that there are circumstances precluding their ability to conduct their property or personal affairs as well as they used to manage. They acknowledge that they are not independently able to manage these matters and voluntarily seek the court appointment of a Curator who will be given authority to take on this responsibility. Perhaps someone is aging, doing well, but recognizing vulnerability to errors or exploitation in handling some of their personal affairs. Perhaps someone has experienced illness or surgery and believes that the assistance of a curator will keep them from missing some of the matters which require attention. If an individual is incarcerated, the court may appoint a curator for the time period of incarceration for the simple reason that the individual is not available to keep up with these matters from the confines of a prison. By getting a court order to appoint a curator, this option becomes available, providing peace of mind that these matters will not fall through the cracks.
The responsibilities of curators vary from one individual with a curator to the next. The court will define the scope of responsibilities of a curator based upon the individual needs of the requesting adult. One curator may manage property and pay all of an individual's bills and personal expenses while another curator may only be involved in property bills and expenses. Because an individual requesting a curator does not require determination to be legally disabled, their input on the scope of assistance needed from the curator is valuable guidance. When an individual decides to ask the court to appoint a curator, the individual will file a verified petition. The District Court does not require notice or public hearing. The District Court will appoint a curator who is required to post a bond because of the trust the court places in the curator.
The appointment of a curator can be an excellent solution for someone who is infirm or aged and needs some support to manage property and/or personal affairs. While being declared legally disabled and receiving a court-appointed guardian is a life-altering experience, receiving the services of a court-appointed curator without being defined as disabled comes as a welcome relief for many adults and their loved ones.
The Kentucky Guardianship Association (KGA) is a great resource for individuals seeking more information about the appointment of a curator for themselves or a loved one, along with providing detailed information about guardianship and conservatorship. KGA is a nonprofit membership organization committed to improving adult guardianship in Kentucky and you will find yourself with a network of people and information that will be helpful as you to understand the available options for assisting and protecting adults. Visit the KGA website at www.kyguardianship.org and watch our video with its easy-to-understand overview of Kentucky guardianship law, including information on the curator process. You can also access a downloadable handbook, the Kentucky Guardianship Manual, that details the guardianship process in Kentucky, including curator information, from start to finish.