Guardian Law

Guardian law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky defines the process through which an adult can petition the court to have a guardian appointed for another person.  The process for doing this is spelled out with great specificity in KRS 387 and the Kentucky Guardianship Association at is a nonprofit membership organization committed to improving adult guardianship in Kentucky.  It is a great ongoing resource for families, social workers and individuals interested in becoming guardians. Resources include guardian law training for social workers, attorneys and persons who have been appointed by the court to serve as a guardian.

Due to the sensitive nature, guardian law in Kentucky requires that guardianship cases are confidential. Prior to the actual appointment of a guardian, guardian law calls for a series of steps to occur:

  • A petition is filed in the district where the person who may need a guardian resides.  This person who may need guardianship is referred to as the Respondent.
  • An evaluation is done by an Interdisciplinary Team consisting of a physician who will do the medical evaluation, a psychologist who will assess mental capacity and a social worker who will review the Respondent's social environment and ability to function.
  • A hearing is held before a judge and jury and the jury, when presented with clear and convincing evidence, makes the decision on disability, a determination of disability being required in order to appoint a guardian.
  • Guardianship is deemed appropriate when it is determined that the Respondent is disabled or partially disabled. If it is determined that the Respondent is not disabled, a guardian will not be appointed.

Based upon the recommendation of the jury, the judge will select the guardian and clarify the limits on the power of the guardian. When the judge is considering the appointment of a guardian, there are several questions that are taken into consideration:

  • What is the relationship between the person under consideration and the Respondent?
  • What is the person's work situation, financial ability and education?
  • What is the person's ability to fulfill the demands of this important responsibility?

Guardian law in Kentucky requires that a guardian must periodically file reports with detail on any actions taken by the guardian, for which the guardian is held personally responsible. The Fiduciary Services Branch facilitates all issues related to the financial needs of wards: applying for benefits, maintaining benefit eligibility, review and approval of any requests for funds, issuance of checks to assure that personal needs are being met.

Visit the Kentucky Guardianship Association website at and watch our video with its easy-to-understand overview of Kentucky guardianship law. Our meetings and trainings assist our membership with understanding Kentucky guardianship law and provide continuing education for the various disciplines that have a role in guardianship.

At the Kentucky Guardianship Association, we understand the difficult emotional and legal challenges faced when considering  guardianship for a loved one. It is easier to navigate Kentucky guardianship law when you partner with the resources at Kentucky Guardianship Association. Our meetings and trainings assist our membership to understand Kentucky Guardianship law and provide continuing education for the various disciplines that have a role in guardianship.