(A) If found necessary, a probate court on its own motion or on application by any interested party shall appoint, subject to divisions (C) and (D) of this section and to section 2109.21 and division (B) of section 2111.121 of the Revised Code, a guardian of the person, the estate, or both, of a minor or incompetent, provided the person for whom the guardian is to be appointed is a resident of the county or has a legal settlement in the county . If the person for whom the guardian is to be appointed is an adult, the person must be a qualified respondent as described in section 2112.21 of the Revised Code and have the opportunity to have the assistance of counsel in the proceeding for the appointment of that guardian. An interested party includes, but is not limited to, a person nominated in a durable power of attorney under section 1337.24 of the Revised Code or in a writing as described in division (A) of section 2111.121 of the Revised Code.
Except when the guardian of an incompetent is an agency under contract with the department of developmental disabilities for the provision of protective services under sections 5123.55 to 5123.59 of the Revised Code, the guardian of an incompetent, by virtue of the appointment as guardian, shall be the guardian of the minor children of the guardian's ward, unless the court appoints some other person as their guardian.
When the primary purpose of the appointment of a guardian is, or was, the collection, disbursement, or administration of moneys awarded by the veterans administration to the ward, or assets derived from those moneys, no court costs shall be charged in the proceeding for the appointment or in any subsequent proceedings made in pursuance of the appointment, unless the value of the estate, including the moneys then due under the veterans administration award, exceeds one thousand five hundred dollars.
(1) If the probate court finds it to be in the best interest of an incompetent or minor, it may appoint pursuant to divisions (A) and (C) of this section, on its own motion or on application by an interested party, a limited guardian with specific limited powers. The sections of the Revised Code, rules, and procedures governing guardianships apply to a limited guardian, except that the order of appointment and letters of authority of a limited guardian shall state the reasons for, and specify the limited powers of, the guardian. The court may appoint a limited guardian for a definite or indefinite period. An incompetent or minor for whom a limited guardian has been appointed retains all of the incompetent's or minor's rights in all areas not affected by the court order appointing the limited guardian.
(2) If a guardian appointed pursuant to division (A) of this section is temporarily or permanently removed or resigns, and if the welfare of the ward requires immediate action, at any time after the removal or resignation, the probate court may appoint, ex parte and with or without notice to the ward or interested parties, an interim guardian for a maximum period of fifteen days. If the court appoints the interim guardian ex parte or without notice to the ward, the court, at its first opportunity, shall enter upon its journal with specificity the reason for acting ex parte or without notice, and, as soon as possible, shall serve upon the ward a copy of the order appointing the interim guardian. For good cause shown, after notice to the ward and interested parties and after hearing, the court may extend an interim guardianship for a specified period, but not to exceed an additional thirty days.
(3) If a minor or incompetent has not been placed under a guardianship pursuant to division (A) of this section and if an emergency exists and it is reasonably certain that immediate action is required to prevent significant injury to the person or estate of the minor or incompetent, at any time after it receives notice of the emergency, the court, ex parte, may issue any order that it considers necessary to prevent injury to the person or estate of the minor or incompetent, or may appoint an emergency guardian for a maximum period of seventy-two hours. A written copy of any order issued by a court under this division shall be served upon the incompetent or minor as soon as possible after its issuance. Failure to serve that order after its issuance or prior to the taking of any action under its authority does not invalidate the order or the actions taken. The powers of an emergency guardian shall be specified in the letters of appointment, and shall be limited to those powers that are necessary to prevent injury to the person or estate of the minor or incompetent. If the court acts ex parte or without notice to the minor or incompetent, the court, at its first opportunity, shall enter upon its journal a record of the case and, with specificity, the reason for acting ex parte or without notice. For good cause shown, after notice to the minor or incompetent and interested parties, and after hearing, the court may extend an emergency guardianship for a specified period, but not to exceed an additional thirty days.
(C) Prior to the appointment of a guardian or limited guardian under division (A) or (B)(1) of this section, the court shall conduct a hearing on the matter of the appointment. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with all of the following:
(1) The proposed guardian or limited guardian shall appear at the hearing and, if appointed, shall swear under oath that the proposed guardian or limited guardian has made and will continue to make diligent efforts to file a true inventory in accordance with section 2111.14 of the Revised Code and find and report all assets belonging to the estate of the ward and that the proposed guardian or limited guardian faithfully and completely will fulfill the other duties of guardian, including the filing of timely and accurate reports and accountings.
(2) If the hearing is conducted by a magistrate, the procedures set forth in Civil Rule 53 shall be followed.
(3) If the hearing concerns the appointment of a guardian or limited guardian for an alleged incompetent, the burden of proving incompetency shall be by clear and convincing evidence.
(4) Upon request of the applicant, the alleged incompetent for whom the appointment is sought or the alleged incompetent's counsel, or any interested party, a recording or record of the hearing shall be made.
(5) Evidence of a less restrictive alternative to guardianship may be introduced, and when introduced, shall be considered by the court.
(6) The court may deny a guardianship based upon a finding that a less restrictive alternative to guardianship exists.
(7) If the hearing concerns the appointment of a guardian or limited guardian for an alleged incompetent, the alleged incompetent has all of the following rights:
(a) The right to be represented by independent counsel of the alleged incompetent's choice;
(b) The right to have a friend or family member of the alleged incompetent's choice present;
(c) The right to have evidence of an independent expert evaluation introduced;
(d) If the alleged incompetent is indigent, upon the alleged incompetent's request:
(i) The right to have counsel and an independent expert evaluator appointed at court expense;
(ii) If the guardianship, limited guardianship, or standby guardianship decision is appealed, the right to have counsel appointed and necessary transcripts for appeal prepared at court expense.
(1) If a person has been nominated to be a guardian of the estate of a minor in or pursuant to a durable power of attorney under section 1337.24 of the Revised Code or a writing as described in division (A) of section 2111.121 of the Revised Code, the person nominated has preference in appointment over a person selected by the minor. A person who has been nominated to be a guardian of the person of a minor in or pursuant to a durable power of attorney or writing of that nature does not have preference in appointment over a person selected by the minor, but the probate court may appoint the person named in the durable power of attorney or the writing, the person selected by the minor, or another person as guardian of the person of the minor.
(2) A person nominated as a guardian of an incompetent adult child pursuant to a durable power of attorney under section 1337.24 or pursuant to section 2111.121 of the Revised Code shall have preference in appointment over a person applying to be guardian if the person nominated is competent, suitable, and willing to accept the appointment, and if the incompetent adult child does not have a spouse or an adult child and has not designated a guardian prior to the court finding the adult child incompetent.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.163, HB 27, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.65, SB 117, §1, eff. 3/22/2012.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.52, SB 124, §1, eff. 1/13/2012.
Amended by 128th General Assemblych.52, SB 79, §1, eff. 10/6/2009.
Effective Date: 01-14-1997; 2008 SB157 05-14-200.