Trusted Sidney, Ohio Guardianship Attorney
You will find the delightful city of Sidney, Ohio about 36 miles north of Dayton, and 100 miles south of Toledo. At the time of the 2010 census, there were about 21,300 residents in Sidney, which is the county seat of Shelby County. Not only was Sidney named after the English poet, Sir Philip Sidney, but many of the elementary schools in the area are also named after some of our most famous writers—Emerson, Whittier, and Longfellow. In 1964, Sidney was awarded the All-America City Award, and in 2009 was the subject of a documentary film titled 45365 (the zip code of Sidney). The film detailed everyday small-town life, winning the 2010 Independent Spirit Award, and the Roger and Chaz Ebert Truer Than Fiction Award.
While Sidney started its journey in the 1840s with two newspaper offices, four sawmills, three flour mills, one fulling mill, two carding mills, eighteen stores, five churches, and one oil well, it grew quickly, becoming a center of agricultural trade, thanks to the canal and the two railroad lines that service the community. By the late 1880s, the largest employer in Sidney was John Loughlin, a school furniture manufacturer. Today, most Shelby County residents are involved in some aspect of agriculture. Sidney is served by the Sidney Municipal Airport, as well as the Dayton International Airport, which is 35 miles to the south.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the many local state parks in the area, including Kiser Lake, Grand Lake St. Mary’s, Lake Loramie, and Indian Lake. Boating, fishing, and hunting are common outdoor pursuits for Sidney residents. The mammoth structure of the Big Four Bridge is another historical site in Sidney, defining the skyline in a way nothing else does. The construction of the bridge drew hundreds of onlookers for two full years, and local legends and myths surround the bridge.
Serving the Guardianship Needs of Sidney, Ohio Residents
Sidney residents who need assistance in guardianship issues, or any type of estate planning issue, will appreciate the highly experienced Lovett & House estate planning attorneys who have been serving the needs of those in Sidney and surrounding areas since 1989. Probate courts oversee Guardianships with considerable levels of scrutiny, and the proceedings can be complex. Because of this, it is extremely important that those involved in a Guardianship for an adult or a minor contact Lovett & House for exemplary legal representation.
What Does Sidney, Ohio Guardianship Entail?
A guardian is a person, corporation, or association appointed by a probate court to be legally responsible for another person and his or her property—usually a minor, or an incapacitated adult. For adults, guardianship may be necessary because the individual can not handle their money or make personal decisions. A guardian for a minor is usually necessary when the child receives more than $25,000 from an inheritance or claim payment.
A guardianship that involves money is known as a “Guardianship of the estate,” while a guardianship involving non-financial affairs is known as a “Guardian of the person.” A guardian may be appointed to oversee legal or financial matters. However, under Ohio law, guardianship is an involuntary proceeding in which loved ones ask the court to protect an individual who appears to be incompetent (or is a minor). Once appointed, the guardian must manage the ward’s affairs that reflect the best interests of the ward.
What are the Implications and Effects of Guardianship?
When you are appointed as guardian over a ward, you only have the authority granted under Ohio statutes, any relevant decisions from Ohio courts, and any applicable orders or rules from the probate court. In other words, you must obey all orders and judgments from the courts, which could give you far-reaching powers, or very limited powers. If you are appointed as guardian of the person, you must ensure the day-to-day maintenance for the ward is properly provided. Maintenance includes responsibility for the education of a minor ward, decisions regarding medical treatment, decisions regarding any professional services required by the ward, as well as providing food, shelter, clothing, health care, and any other necessities. Only a person—not a bank or company—can be appointed as a guardian of the person.
As a guardian of the estate, you will manage the property and financial assets for the ward, specifically:
- Paying all of the ward’s expenses or debts
- Collecting any money owed to the ward
- Settling assets received from the executor of the estate on behalf of the ward
- Depositing all of the ward’s funds into an account with your name as fiduciary
- Filing an official inventory of the ward’s estate on a regular basis
- Investing any funds belonging to the ward that is not needed for current obligations
- Defending against a lawsuit filed against the ward
- Filing a lawsuit on behalf of the ward when necessary
What Issues Should I Consider When Preparing for Guardianship?
If you have been named as a guardian, it is imperative that you have as much knowledge as possible about the ward and plenty of direct contact. It is helpful to have a positive relationship with the ward, to communicate and visit with the ward on a regular basis, and to have a true concern for the well-being of the ward. If there are family members that need to be informed of what is going on, then to the extent possible, you should involve them in the process. Maintaining a good relationship with family members is just as important as having a good relationship with the ward.
Helpful Information to Have Prior to Meeting with a Sidney, Ohio Guardianship Attorney
If you have been named guardian for a ward, it could be extremely helpful to discuss the issue with an Ohio guardianship attorney, particularly since you are required to file accountings in court, as well as a final accounting once the guardianship has been terminated. If your guardianship is new you will want all the paperwork related to the guardianship, as well as all necessary information for the ward. If you have been a guardian for a while, you will need receipts related to all transactions, as well as an itemized statement of all funds, assets, and investments.
How a Sidney, Ohio Guardianship Attorney from Lovett & House Can Help
It is important that you are careful regarding taking advice regarding the guardianship from anyone other than an experienced Sidney, Ohio guardianship attorney from Lovett & House. We understand that the courts oversee guardianships with a considerable level of scrutiny. This makes the proceedings complex, requiring one of our highly skilled guardianship attorneys to properly represent you. We have handled guardianships for adults and minors in many counties in Ohio. If you have been appointed as guardian, or you believe someone you care about could benefit from having a guardian, contact Lovett & House today at 937-667-8805.