A guardianship is a legal relationship between a capable adult (a guardian) and his ward, either a minor (a person under 18 years old) or a legally disabled adult. A guardianship provides the guardian with the decision-making authority and responsibility over the personal affairs of the ward to include daily activities and health care decisions.
If you have a child over 18 years of age or an elderly parent or other individual who is not able to provide for their personal needs such as health, food, clothing and shelter or managing their financial resources, then it would be beneficial and perhaps necessary that a guardian be appointed for that individual. A guardian can provide for the needs of an individual and prevents the individual from wasting their assets for unnecessary items not in the individual’s best interest.
Once a person is declared disabled under Kentucky law and a guardian is appointed, the disabled person cannot legally contract for things that may simply be someone trying to take advantage of them, such as a new roof on their house or any number of scams that the elderly may fall prey to. We often hear of unscrupulous contractors who take advantage of elderly and disabled persons by getting them to contract for services that are not necessary.
Guardianship proceedings are filed in the county of residence of the disabled person. If you have questions about guardianship proceedings as to a Campbell County resident, you can call the District Court Clerk’s Office at 292-6314. If you feel a guardianship is necessary, you can fill out the necessary paperwork at the Campbell District Court, located at 330 York St. in Newport.
After a petition is filed to have someone declared disabled and for the appointment of a guardian, reports are obtained from the person’s physician, a mental health professional and a social worker as to whether the person is disabled. A jury of six people will make the decision as to whether someone is disabled. If the jury decides a person is disabled, then it is up to the District Court Judge to appoint the appropriate person as guardian. The court may also appoint that same person or another person as a conservator to handle the disabled person’s financial affairs.