Adult Guardianship Services

We help you ensure your loved one’s care and finances are in the right hands.

A difficult process
requires reliable guidance.

You want to take great care of your loved one and provide a secure future, but you may need some help to do so. Caring for a loved one is a big burden to shoulder and you don’t want to have to deal with added legal stress.

Our team  guides you through temporary, permanent, or contested adult guardianship. Whether your situation is straightforward or complex—we help you understand the process and ensure the thoughtful attention your loved one deserves.

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You deserve guidance
from a team that is:

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Knowledgeable

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Experienced

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Reliable

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Knowledgeable

Our team has over 40 years of combined experience doing guardianship work in Indiana. So, whether you are filing for guardianship, need representation during hearings, or could use support once you’re appointed guardian, we know how to deliver the best, most compassionate results in any situation.

Experienced guidance for intricate matters.

Experienced

We utilize our years of experience to guide and support our clients and their loved ones. Beyond serving our clients, we frequently advise other lawyers and are regularly asked to speak at conferences about guardianship law.

Distinguished by years in the field.

Reliable

Taking great care of those who are most important to you is not something to leave to amateurs. With a loved one’s future and well-being at stake, our clients trust us to guide them during what can be a difficult process. Whether straightforward or complex, your situation deserves a professional.

Thoughtful solutions for every need.

Frequently Asked Questions

bennett mcclammer FAQ section

What is a guardian?

A guardian is a court-appointed person who makes decisions on behalf of an incapacitated person.

Do you help previously-appointed guardians?

If you become the appointed guardian, we are a phone call away to offer support in financial paperwork, healthcare decisions, and all the tools you need to succeed. Knowing you’re legally squared away frees you to focus on all the other important details of life.

What is the difference between temporary and permanent guardianship?

A temporary guardian has limited powers and can only serve for 90 days (this time frame can be extended by the Court).

A temporary or emergency guardianship is intended to be used only when a true emergency exists and the incapacitated person cannot make a decision for him or herself.

A permanent guardian usually has all the powers granted to a guardian in the Indiana code and serves indefinitely, unless removed by the Court. A permanent guardian is appropriate in circumstances where the incapacitated person has a condition or disease where it will be impossible to regain decision-making capacity, such as dementia, Down’s syndrome, severe autism, and Alzheimer’s disease. A permanent guardian serves as long as the incapacitated person is alive and the incapacity exists, unless removed by the Court.

What is the process to obtain temporary guardianship?

A temporary guardianship can be obtained relatively quickly. In Marion County, a hearing is required for all temporary guardianships and the process can take several days. The first step is to file a petition with the Court and to get a hearing date (which is usually scheduled within 7 days). In other counties, the potential guardian may only need to meet with the Judge in chambers before obtaining a temporary guardianship.

Before a temporary guardianship is granted, the following things must be completed:

– A physician’s report must be filled out and signed by a doctor.
– Notice of the temporary guardianship must be given to the incapacitated person, and to certain family members.
– The person wishing to become guardian must appear at a hearing.

What is the process to obtain permanent guardianship?

A permanent guardianship requires the same basic steps as a temporary guardianship: a petition, physician’s report, notice, and hearing. In Marion County, permanent guardianship hearings are usually scheduled 4-6 weeks after a petition is filed. A physician’s report must be obtained before the hearing and notice must be given in accordance with the probate statute. A permanent guardianship hearing can be short and simple, or it can be long and contested if the family does not agree on who should serve as guardian.

What is incapacity and how is it determined?

Incapacity is defined in the Indiana code as follows:

[A]n individual who:
(1) cannot be located upon reasonable inquiry;
(2) is unable:
(A) to manage in whole or in part the individual’s property;
(B) to provide self-care; or
(C) both; because of insanity, mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness, infirmity, habitual drunkenness, excessive use of drugs, incarceration, confinement, detention, duress, fraud, undue influence of others on the individual, or other incapacity; or
(3) has a developmental disability (as defined in IC 12-7-2-61).
I.C. § 29-3-1-7.5

Incapacity is determined by a judge, with the assistance of a physician’s report that is completed and signed by the person’s doctor.

What is the difference between guardian of the person and guardian of the estate?

In general, a guardian of the estate handles the finances of the incapacitated person and the guardian of the person makes medical decisions, decides where the incapacitated person should live, and manages the care for the protected person. A single person can fulfill both roles, or separate individuals may be appointed.
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Knowing our loved ones are getting the best care and ensuring
their assets and health are protected shouldn’t be left to chance.

Get trustworthy guidance from an experienced attorney.