A guardian is a person who is entrusted by law to care for a person or property. This might be for a minor or an elder who is incapable of managing his or her own affairs. It’s important to establish a legal guardian for your children that you can trust in the occasion that you become incapacitated.
In Ohio, there are certain precautions set in place to determine who can serve as guardian. Before making any big decisions, it’s important to understand the guidelines and consult with a professional for further information. According to the Ohio State Bar Association, here’s what you need to know about residency requirements to become a guardian in Ohio.
Do you have to live in Ohio to be a guardian of an Ohio resident?
The answer to this question is somewhat unclear. Generally, the state wants a resident that is in the same ward and can effectively act as guardian rather than someone in a different state. If you are not a resident of the same county or ward, you generally will not be approved as guardian unless you quality for an exception.
What are the exceptions?
Ohio law respects the right of parents to choose a guardian for their children who are unable to take care of themselves, no matter where the guardian lives. Ohio law also respects the right of a competent adult to choose his or her own guardian in the event that such care becomes necessary. In addition, Ohio law allows a minor over the age of 14 to select his or her own guardian, even if that guardian lives in another county or state.
Can you be named as guardian for an Ohio resident if you live in a different state?
As long as parents and individuals nominate the guardian with the power of an attorney or written document, a person from another state can be named guardian as long as they meet the legal requirements.
You are an appointed guardian of someone who lives in Ohio but have to move out of state. Will the court remove you as guardian? While Ohio law does not require a probate court to remove a guardian who is no longer a resident of the state, the court may do so, or may transfer the guardianship to the new jurisdiction, if such a change is determined to be in the ward’s best interest.
What happens if a guardianship is challenged because the guardian lives out of state? An alternative co-guardian can be appointed along with a guardian who lives out of state. The alternative co-guardian can even be friends, family, or even a local attorney.
If you need assistance navigating the requirements for Ohio guardianship, contact Bryan B. Johnson at (614) 457-3272!