When an Indiana adult becomes unable to advocate, care for and make decisions for himself or herself, that individual’s loved ones might step in and start thinking about establishing an adult guardianship. Guardianship is a way for someone in need of care (known as a “ward”) to receive care from another party appointed to advocate for the incapacitated individual’s best interests.
Per IN.gov, most guardianships are long-term in nature, and they often last until the party in need of assistance dies. While guardianships are necessary in many situations to protect an incapacitated individual, they also strip away many of a party’s rights. For this reason, some question whether there is any way to terminate an adult guardianship once it is in place.
Termination of guardianship
A guardianship ends automatically when the ward dies. If a court rules that the protected party is no longer incapacitated, it may also decide to terminate a guardianship. Indiana laws are also somewhat vague in this area, noting that a court may also end a guardianship if “the guardianship is no longer necessary for any reason.” Terminating a guardianship requires filing a petition to do so. Then, there is typically a hearing that gives any parties involved in the guardianship a chance to voice their opinions about ending it.
Alternatives to guardianship
A guardianship may not be necessary in all situations. Sometimes, an incapacitated party may get the help he or she needs through giving someone power of attorney, designating a health care representative or establishing a protection order, among other possible alternatives.
Most of the time, an adult under guardianship maintains the right to challenge the guardianship in court.