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A guardian for a minor must be at least 18 years old, and a resident of Ohio. If the child’s parents named the guardian either by Will, or by a separate Designation of Guardian, a nonresident may be named.
A guardianship may be necessary under two circumstances:
A child’s parents are the child’s natural guardian over the child’s person. If a parent of a minor is alive, usually there is no reason for the appointment of a guardian of the person. But while a parent is the natural guardian of the child’s person, a court appointed guardian is required if the child will receive property (typically cash, securities, real estate).
The Probate Court appoints the guardian. Although the court will favor the person named in the Will or Designation of Guardian, the court must satisfy itself that the person named is suitable. Unless waived in a Will or Designation of Guardian, the person appointed must also post a bond.
When a guardian of the estate is appointed, the guardian has certain duties. These include:
At age 18, the guardianship will be terminated. The remaining funds are distributed to the child, and a final account is presented to the court.
While a guardianship is established to protect a child, it can be a cumbersome process. There may be, however, alternatives.
If you would like help in determining whether a guardianship of a minor is required, if there are alternatives to a guardianship, or help in setting up and administering a guardianship, please contact us.