Guardianship & medical responsibilities: what can I do?

Guardianship is established when a person with functional needs is no longer able to maintain control over their own decisions. Because this is a legally binding process, it should only be considered as a last resort. Explore alternatives to guardianship and learn about ways to protect the rights of Stark County residents with disabilities.

What is a guardian?

According to Disability Rights Ohio, a guardian is a person or entity appointed to take on responsibility for another person’s legal, financial and/or personal needs. This decision is made by the probate court and is legally binding. Find out about the different types of guardianship.

What are my rights?

The rights of the individual vary depending on the type of guardianship, but the following rights are maintained in most cases:

  • Because voting is a fundamental right, all individuals should be allowed to cast their own ballots unless a court finds them unfit
  • When possible, specific medical decisions, including those involving reproductive rights, should be made by the individual
  • A guardian cannot make a will or act as power of attorney
Helpful links

Guardianship and Alternatives for Decision-Making Support

Find helpful information about guardianship options and alternatives.

Guardianship and Its Alternatives

Because guardianship limits a person’s rights to make their own decisions, all other options should be exhausted before appointing a guardian. Learn about your options.

Guardianship Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions surrounding guardianship, your rights and guardianship alternatives.