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Disability Law : Ohio and Federal : Less Restrictive Alternatives to Guardianship


 Pursuant to Oh. Rev. Code Sec. 2111.02, a probate court must explore less restrictive alternatives before appointing a guardian. A properly executed power of attorney can be a less restrictive alternative to guardianship of the estate and person. Please see my libguide on Ohio Power of Attorney Law. A trust can sometimes by a less restrictive alternative to guardianship of an estate. Please see my libguide on Ohio Trust Law

Ohio Laws

In addition to the alternatives mentioned in the Power of Attorney and Trust libguides above, joint ownership can be a less restrictive alternative to guardianship of the estate.

Federal Laws

Representative Payee

A Representative-Custodial Payee is another method for avoiding guardianship of the estate. A Representative-Custodial Payee is an individual authorized to receive and expend Veteran’s benefits, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or other government benefits. A Representative-Custodial payee is put in place by a government agency, and the decision to appoint a payee is based upon a court finding of mental incompetence or on sufficient evidence which demonstrates that the recipient’s physical or mental incapacity would impair fund management.

Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective services, through the county department of job and family services, can be an effective alternative for guardianship for short-term problems.

Supported Decision Making

Supported decision making (SDM) is a tool that allows people with disabilities to retain their decisionmaking capacity by choosing supporters to help them make choices. There are no specific laws about SDM in Ohio.