When an adult is determined by the Court, after a thorough examination of this person's ability to care for his health and welfare and a trial by jury, to be legally disabled, a judge has the duty to appoint a guardian. Typically the Judge will appoint a family member or friend to take on this responsibility. However, in the instance that there is no one willing or able to serve in this capacity, the Judge will appoint the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as the state or public guardian of the ward.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to the Department for Aging and Independent Living. The Division of Guardianship has the responsibility for administering public guardian duties. This division, with offices throughout Kentucky, has employees who are specialists in public guardianship who are able to provide the guidance and services necessary to protect the welfare of the individual under public guardianship.
Chapter 387 of Kentucky Revised Statutes provides process and responsibilities for a guardian, regardless of whether or not this responsibility has been designated to a public guardian. Based upon the extent of the individual's disability, there are several categories of protection:
The Public Guardian is required to inventory the ward's property, maintain financial records of how the ward's money is being spent and file an annual report to the court.The Kentucky Guardianship Association at www.kyguardianship.org 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. 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.