Establishing Guardianship

Guardianship and other legal documents are available when your son or daughter becomes 18 and declared an adult.

There are a few different scenarios where one would need to establish guardianship:

  1. Member will be turning 18 years old
  2. Parent or caretaker has passed or ill and sibling/relative needs to be named guardian
  3. A nonrelative needs to be named guardian

Guardianship and other legal tools are available when a member18 and declared an adult. It may be in the best interest of that individual to have the guidance of a trusted family member or friend to make life decisions. But it is also important that an adult with a disability enjoy the right to make choices he or she understands.

The Guardianship process is one method to determine the ability of an individual to make informed decisions and evaluate which level of guardianship is appropriate. Once guardianship is granted a family member can guide decisions and sign documents on the individual’s behalf.

Medical, Education, State and Financial services require consent to participate in informed decisions.  A parent or family member cannot legally sign for an individual after they reach their 18th birthday.

Kentucky & Indiana each have their own laws and procedures. when it comes to guardianship. The processing time varies by location and by circumstances.

We advise you to start at least 90 days before your member’s 18th birthday.


  • Kentucky does not require the family to hire an attorney. The state provides an attorney to represent the member. Kentucky requires a jury procedure at this time.  Each County has a disability court. The first step is for the person seeking guardianship to contact their local Disability Court to start the process.
  • Jefferson County Disability Court – 502-595-4053
  • Visit the Division of Guardianship website for more information and a list of other counties Disability Courts
  • You may consider consulting an attorney to obtain power of attorney or other documents that will allow a family member to assist an individual adult to navigate some decisions and documents.
  • The following attorneys have experience with guardianship and alternatives to guardianship and are licensed in Kentucky:
    • Richard Bush 502-584-6258
    • Mathew Goodin (502) 398-5721


Indiana requires the person seeking guardianship to engage an attorney to assist in the guardianship process.

Listen to Podcast on Guardianship

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Kentucky Guardianship Website

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Indiana Guardianship Website

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