Adult Guardianship

Adult guardianship law involves the process of judicial assessment of the ability of an adult to manage their affairs.

A guardianship becomes necessary when an individual lacks the legal capacity to make a rational decision regarding his or her financial affairs or health care. Elder Law Lexington represents guardians in elder care. Typically, our client is seeking legal authority to act on behalf of one who may be in ill health or who is experiencing memory loss and inability to properly care for himself or herself or their property.

Adult guardianship law involves the judicial process of assessment of the ability of an adult to manage their affairs. If they cannot, the court appoints a guardian or conservator for the person. A guardianship is a legal right given to a person to be responsible for the food, health care, housing and other necessities of a person deemed fully or partially incapable of providing these necessities to themselves.

Elder Law Lexington represents clients seeking adult guardianship or conservatorship over relatives who can no longer manage their own affairs. Typically, a family member comes to us looking for a legal appointment so that they can legally prove that they have authority to act on behalf of the incapacitated party. In the case of adults, guardians are appointed where the court finds that an individual’s ability to make responsible decisions is so impaired that it is necessary, and in the best interests of the adult, that the authority to make these decisions should be granted to another individual. Kentucky law also provides that an adult may voluntarily choose to have a "curator” appointed. For example, this may happen in a case where an individual is mentally competent, but his or her affairs are so burdensome or complicated and/or their physical health so impaired that he or she concludes that it is in their best interests to have someone else manage them. In the case of guardianship, Elder Law Lexington petitions the court to have a guardian appointed. When a guardian is appointed, the guardian must base his/her decisions upon and act in the best interests of the ward, and the guardian’s performance of responsibilities is subject to court review and oversight. The specific terms that govern the rules, procedures, duties, obligations and relationship between the guardian and the ward are all set out in Kentucky statutes.

For a complete summary of the adult guardianship process please see the KGA Guardianship training video on our website.

Adult guardianship may be appropriate when:

  • A person can no longer make or communicate safe or sound decisions
  • A person may be:
    • Failing to pay bills
    • Losing money
    • Losing track of accounts
    • Forgetting appointments
    • Mishandling medications
    • Driving unsafely
  • A person may be displaying unusually angry or paranoid behavior
  • A person has become susceptible to fraud or undue influence

Establishing an adult guardianship is a court process that has strict requirements. Elder Law Lexington can assist you by counseling and navigating those requirements, by collecting the necessary information and preparing the necessary paperwork.

When you call Elder Law Lexington - McClelland & Associates, PLLC, you will speak directly with a qualified and expert adult guardianship lawyer. Give us a call today at (859) 543-0061 or (800) 773-4040 or by e-mail at