The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

Guardianship bill of rights developed

Ohio Attorney General’s information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, State Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) and State Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) unveiled legislation to establish a ward’s bill of rights for those Ohioans who are under the care of a guardianship as well as introduced a new, user-friendly Guardianship Guide prepared by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Attorney General Mike DeWine
Attorney General Mike DeWine

“People placed in guardianships are especially vulnerable, and there is a great need for volunteers, family members, and attorneys to act on their behalf,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “My office created this guide to reduce confusion surrounding guardianships, so that individuals are better equipped to serve as guardians or protect relatives under guardianship.”

Copies of the Guardianship Guide are being mailed to Probate Courts across the state as well as to advocacy groups like the Ohio Area Agencies on Aging and Disability Rights Ohio.

The Guide was prepared by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office with input from: Disability Rights Ohio; the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities; the Ohio Department of Aging; Representative Dorothy Pelanda; Trumbull County Probate Judge Thomas A. Swift, and Julia Nack of the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging.

Representative Pelanda has introduced House Bill 624 that seeks to enact section 2111.01 of the Ohio Revised Code to provide a ward’s bill of rights and to require that a guardian receive the Ohio Guardianship Guide prepared by the Ohio Attorney General.  The rights of the ward are listed on pages 12-14 in the Guide.

Senator Jones has introduced a companion bill, Senate Bill 365.

“This legislation and the Guide are meant to encourage best-practices and to raise awareness of the unique issues presented in caring for our juvenile and our elderly wards,” said Representative Pelanda.

“The recent allegations regarding widespread abuse in the guardianship system are serious and disturbing,” said Senator Jones. “This legislation is an important first step to ensure our most vulnerable Ohioan’s are treated with respect and dignity. I am grateful for the leadership of Attorney General DeWine and Representative Pelanda.”

For individuals who are not able to take care of their basic needs, finances, or medical issues, Ohio law gives probate courts the responsibility of assigning guardianship when less restrictive options are not feasible.   Currently in Ohio there are 65,000 people who are under the care of a guardian, and that number is expected to rise as the Baby Boom generation ages.

The Guide can be downloaded from the Ohio Attorney General’s website at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.

POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:28 am. FILED UNDER: News