Probate Court: 740.283.8593    |    Juvenile Court: 740.283.8557


The process of guardianship is in order to ensure that individuals who live in Jefferson County and who cannot care for themselves, their assets, and/or their monies are protected and have someone to care for them. The way that this happens is through a process called guardianship.

Incompetent Guardianship

An adult person, who is eighteen years of age or older, who cannot make decisions about his/her legal rights due to illness, a mental condition, or injury, is referred to by the law as an “incompetent” person. For example, an elderly person who suffers from dementia may be adjudged an incompetent who is in need of a guardian, or a person who sustained severe injuries in an accident and is unable to manage his/her affairs for a time may need a guardian.

Minor Guardianship

Minor guardianships are court-supervised procedures which permit a grandparent or other concerned individual to become a child’s guardian. The court may appoint a guardian for a person under the age of eighteen years, who is need of an adult, other than the parents, to make legal decisions for the care of a minor. Applicants must be screened for suitability, but once established, the guardianship ends only upon the child’s reaching eighteen years of age, or if the court determines that the need for guardianship has ended.

Termination Of A Guardianship

A minor guardianship ends when the ward attains the age of eighteen years, if the minor dies, or when the court determines there is no longer a need for the guardian.

An incompetent guardianship ends upon the death of the ward, if the ward regains competence, or when the court determines there is no longer a need for the guardian.

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Important Forms

Forms for the Probate Court are available online. Click here for more.