How Do I Know if My Child Needs a Guardian?


By Attorney Amanda M. Buzo


While a child is under the age of 18, the natural or adoptive parent is the "natural guardian" and has the ability to make decisions for the child without court involvement. But what happens when the child turns 18?


The age of majority in Ohio is 18, which means that even if your child is still in high school, living in your home, and eating the cereal you purchase at your kitchen table every morning, the child is now an "adult" and has legal authority to make his or her own decisions. But what if you think your child is unable to make good decisions?


Guardianship is necessary when a person has a physical or mental disability or chronic substance abuse problem that renders him or her incapable of taking proper care of his or her person or property, which can range from the person's inability to give informed consent for a medical procedure to not being able to manage his or her bank account. The person under guardianship is referred to as a "ward."


We have all made bad decisions at some point in our life; does that mean we all need guardians? We know the answer is no, but for some of our loved ones, the answer is not so clear. How do you then know if guardianship is necessary?


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From Our Blog

Power of Attorney

By Attorney David A. Myers

A Durable General Power of Attorney (POA) is a part of virtually every estate plan. The POA allows the person who signed the document (the "principal") to designate another (the "agent") and to empower the agent to transact financial and other business on behalf of the principal. The main reason to do so is to avoid having to ask the probate court, in an expensive and time-consuming guardianship proceeding, for that authority if the principal becomes unable or incapacitated.


Some estate plans also include living trusts to avoid probate and the need for guardianship, since the successor trustee can manage the assets in the trust if the person who established the trust becomes unable or incapacitated.


What many people don't realize, however, is that the agent under a POA does not have power to control assets in a trust.


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April 2012 Issue 
Our Latest Podcast 

Attorney Amanda Buzo responds to frequently asked questions from attendees of the 2012 Cuyahoga County Transition Expo



Attorney Elena Lidrbauch was recently appointed to the Legal Rights Service Commission by the Ohio House of Representatives.


Attorney Lisa Montoni Garvin joined the Breckenridge Village Continuing Care Advisory Board.





The Northern Ohio Branch of the International Dyslexia Association Presents:

Helping Your Child Achieve Reading Success: Legal Tools for Obtaining Appropriate Services for Your Child


Attorney Judith Saltzman, Speaker


Monday, May 3

6 p.m. - 7 p.m. 

Lawrence Upper School

Sagamore Hills


Free and Open to the Public


Click Here to Register 


Turning Your Obstacles into Opportunities

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Phone: 216-861-0360 . Fax: 216-861-3113

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Phone: 440-323-1111 . Fax: 440-323-4284

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