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Permanent and Temporary Guardianships in Indiana

In Indiana, as in many other states in the United States, there are two types of guardianship: permanent guardianship and temporary guardianship. These are legal arrangements made to protect and care for individuals who are unable to care for themselves. Here’s an overview of the key differences between permanent and temporary guardianship in Indiana:

Permanent Guardianship:

  1. Definition: Permanent guardianship is established when a person (the guardian) is granted legal authority and responsibility for a child or incapacitated adult (the ward) on a long-term or permanent basis. This is often used in situations where the ward is unlikely to regain the capacity to make decisions for themselves.
  2. Process: To establish permanent guardianship in Indiana, a court proceeding is typically required. This process may involve a petition for guardianship, a hearing, and the appointment of a guardian. The court’s decision is based on what is in the best interests of the ward.
  3. Duration: Permanent guardianship remains in place until the court determines that it is no longer necessary, often due to changes in the ward’s condition or circumstances.
  4. Powers and Responsibilities: The guardian has the legal authority to make important decisions on behalf of the ward, such as medical decisions, educational decisions, and financial decisions.

Temporary Guardianship:

  1. Definition: Temporary guardianship is a short-term arrangement that is established when a person needs assistance with decision-making or care for a limited period. This can be used, for example, in situations where a parent is temporarily unable to care for their child or when an adult requires temporary assistance.
  2. Process: Temporary guardianship in Indiana can also involve a court process, but it is generally meant to be a more expedited and temporary solution. The process is typically initiated by filing a petition for temporary guardianship.
  3. Duration: Temporary guardianship is designed to be temporary and will automatically expire once the specified period ends or when the purpose for which it was granted is achieved.
  4. Powers and Responsibilities: The guardian appointed for a temporary guardianship has limited powers and responsibilities, typically tailored to the specific needs of the situation. These may include making medical decisions or providing care for a child or adult during a temporary absence or incapacity of the parent or guardian.

It’s important to note that guardianship laws and procedures can vary from state to state, and specific requirements may change over time. If you are considering establishing either permanent or temporary guardianship in Indiana, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law or guardianship matters to ensure you follow the correct legal procedures and meet all the necessary requirements. Additionally, court oversight and periodic reviews and updates are often required for both types of guardianship to ensure the best interests of the ward are being protected.