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Indiana To Introduce New Guardianship Registry

Indiana will soon be testing out a new statewide registry for guardians and their wards. The registry is the first of its kind in the nation and is being introduced in Indiana to help unify the county courts and improve oversight. Currently, guardianship practices in each county varies widely. Some counties, such as Marian County, have much larger probate court staff enabling it to oversee and manage each guardianship, while many other counties are forced to rely on the guardians themselves, or their attorneys, to file the appropriate updates, inventories, and accountings. One of the goals in the new registry program is to provide the court clerks enough information at a glance that automatic notices can be sent to guardians or their attorneys reminding them of important due dates. This would allow the courts to manage their own caseloads on a more unified basis. Another goal of the new registry is to provide an extra layer of protection for potential and current wards. The registry will compile a database listing the names and contact information for all guardians, the names of their respective wards, and whether the guardianship letters are current. If a hospital, nursing home, financial institution, or even court official, ever has concerns over a guardianship, the registry will allow them to easily confirm who the guardian is and whether the guardianship is still active. The Indiana Adult Guardianship State Task Force hopes to roll out the registry in six to eight test counties beginning as early as January 2014 and will follow its progress throughout the calendar year. If successful, the registry will be introduced state wide and will put Indiana at the top of the nation among states managing guardianship cases. However, the need for guardianship proceedings can often be avoided in the first place by executing a valid power of attorney and durable health care power of attorney. Guardianships, particularly over adults, arise when a loved one becomes incapacitated due to an illness, such as Alzheimers, and is no longer capable of managing their healthcare or financial affairs. Guardianship proceedings enable the courts to give an individual the powers necessary to manage those affairs on behalf of the incapacitated person. However, had that person created durable powers of attorney prior to becoming incapacitated, the time and expense of court proceedings may have been saved and the person could have selected who he or she wanted as manager of his or her affairs. Whether people choose who handle their affairs in case some future event or illness prohibits them from being able to do so themselves, or the courts get involved and appoint the person they think will best assist and protect the ward, it is important that you consult an attorney to make sure your interests, or those of your loved ones, are protected and in compliance with applicable laws. For more information about guardianships or to create your power of attorney, call 877-877-LAW2 (5292) or 219-924-2427 to consult with one of our top guardianship professionals.

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