Richland County Court of Common Pleas Probate Division








A guardianship is an involuntary trust relationship in which one party, called a guardian, acts for an individual called the ward. The law regards the ward as incapable of managing his or her own person and/or affairs.


A guardian is an individual appointed by the Probate Court to protect, make decisions for, and act for a person in need of a guardian. The person who needs a guardian is known as ward.

A guardian of an adult ward receives Letters of Authority to act as guardian after the Probate Court has determined at hearing that:

  1. the proposed ward is incompetent, that is "so mentally impaired that he is incapable of taking proper care of himself or his property"; and
  2. the proposed guardian is a suitable person for appointment as guardian.


A guardian may be appointed for either an incompetent or minor, which are defined by statute as:

Incompetent: Any person who is so mentally impaired as a result of a mental or physical illness or disability, or mental retardation, or as a result of chronic substance abuse, that he is incapable of taking proper care of himself or his property or fails to provide for his family or other persons for whom he is charged by law to provide, or any person confined to a penal institution within this state.

Minor: Any person under 18 years of age who has neither father nor mother or whose parents are unsuitable to have custody and tuition of such minor, or whose interests, in the opinion of the Court, will be promoted.

Minor Settlement: Natural parents do not have an inherent right to settle personal injury claims on behalf of a minor child. The Probate Court must authorize approval of such settlements. If the settlement exceeds $25,000, the court will require the appointment of a guardian of estate.

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The Court appoints the guardian. However, a minor over 14, or the parents by will, may suggest a guardian for a minor. In addition, an adult, while competent, may nominate a guardian to serve in the event of incapacity.


Person and/or Estate: A guardian may be appointed either a guardian of the person, a guardian of the estate, or both. A guardian of the person has custody of, controls, and protects, the person of the ward. A guardian of the estate controls and protects the assets or property of the ward.

Limited: A guardian may be appointed with limited powers to make restricted or specific decisions of the ward. The ward retains all powers not granted to the guardian.

Emergency: In an emergency in which significant injury to a prospective ward may occur unless immediate action is taken, the Court may appoint an emergency guardian for 72 hours.

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A guardian's compensation and attorney's fees are set by Court rule, and must be approved prior to fees being paid.


The law requires that no guardian should be appointed if less restrictive alternatives to a guardianship exist. Except for a Representative-Custodial Payee, all alternatives involve a person who has capacity, or is competent, to grant powers. If the person does not have a capacity when the powers are granted, they are subject to challenge and may be void.



A conservatorship is a voluntary trust relationship using guardianship laws and procedures as its basis, in which one party, known as a conservator, acts with Court supervision of a competent, physically-infirm adult, who is called a conservatee.


A conservatorship is based on the consent of the person for whom the conservatorship is to benefit. Thus , the conservatee decides who will serve as conservator, an what property and powers of the conservatee will be included in the conservatorship. In addition, the conservatee decides which of the guardianship duties and procedures the conservator follows and the Court enforces.

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A Power of Attorney is a written authorization for an agent to perform specified acts, either personal (health care) or estate (property) on behalf of a principal.



A volunteer provides friendly visits to specific wards who are currently residing in facilities throughout the county.  These wards are individuals who are residing in a Richland County facility and have a court-appointed guardian.  The Court’s mission is to ensure that every person under guardianship receives appropriate protection, suitable care, and ongoing maintenance to ensure that all of the ward’s needs are being met. 
As a Friendly Visitor Volunteer, your role is to visit the Court’s wards on a monthly basis.  As a volunteer, you will be responsible to complete a short form and return the form(s) back to the Court after your visit.
You can become part of the volunteer program for the Court by filling out the Volunteer Application (Click here for Volunteer Application).  Please send or drop off the completed application to Richland County Probate Court and the coordinator will contact you.  



Initial Deposit

Guardiansip Application
Conservatorship Application
Civil (Sell Real Estate, Etc.)
Additional Cost
Guardians Report and/or Statement of Expert Evaluation
First Page
Additional Pages
With Real Estate
Without Real Estate
Applications & Motions
Application to Terminate
Bond Release
Application to Pay or Deliver Estate of a Minor Without Appointment of a Guardian of Estate
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15.0 - Next of Kin of Proposed Ward

15.1 - Waiver of Notice and Consent of Guardian

15.01 - Judgment Entry Setting Hearing and Ordering Notice of Appointment of Guardian

15.2 - Fiduciary's Acceptance

15.3 - Guardian's Bond

15.4 - Regular Letters of Guardianship

15.4 - Limited Letter of Guardianship (ABLE) Account

15.5 - Guardian's Inventory

15.6 - Application to Release Funds to Guardian

15.7 - Application for Authority to Expend Funds

15.8 - Guardian's Account

15.81 - Bank Certificates

15.9 - Oath of Guardian

15.0A - Information Regarding Proposed Ward

15.0B - Information Regarding Proposed Guardian

16.0 - Application for Appointment of Guardian of Minor

16.1 - Affidavit

16.2 - Selection of Guardian by Minor Over 14

16.3 - Notice of Hearing for Appointment of Guardian of Minor

16.4 - Notice of Hearing on Application for Appointment Guardian of Minor

16.5 - Judgment Entry Appointment of Guardian of Minor

17.0 - Application for Appointment of Guardian

17.1 - Statement of Expert Evaluation

17.3 - Notice to Prospective Ward of Application and Hearing on Guardianship

17.4 - Notice of Hearing of Guardianship

17.5 - Judgment Entry Appointing Guardian

17.7 - Guardian's Report

17.9 - Application for Emergency Guardian

17.0C - Attention Adult Guardianship

17.1A - Supplement for Emergency Guardian of Person

17.10 - Judgment Entry Appointing Emergency Guardian

17.11 - Letters of Emergency Guardianship

17.12 - Certificate of Service to Ward Emergency Guardianship

17.13 - Judgment Entry Extending Emergency Guardianship

17.14 - Application for Appointment of Interim Guardian

17.15 - Ex-Parte Judgment Entry Appointing Interim Guardian

17.16 - Certificate of Service to Ward Interim Guardianship

17.17 - Judgment Entry Extending Interim Guardianship

17.18 - Letter of Interim Guardianship

17.20 - Petition to Transfer Guardianship

17.21 - Provisional Order to Transfer Guardianship

17.22 - Final Order to Transfer Guardianship

17.23 - Petition to Accept Transfer of Guardianship

17.24 - Provisional Order to Accept Guardianship

17.25 - Final Order Accepting Guardianship

17.50 - Judgment Entry Sealing Case Documents

17.66A - Complaint Form

17.66E - Guardian with Ten of More Wards Guardian Certification

17.66G - Direct Services Form

27.0 - Notice Submission of Comments or Complaints

27.1 - Notice of Disposition of Comment of Complaint

27.2 - Notification of Compliance with Guardian Education Requirements

27.3 - Notice of/Application for Change of Address

27.3B - Entry on Application to Change of Address

27.5 - Annual Registration Guardian with Ten or More Wards

27.6 - Guardian with Ten or More Wards Annual Fee Schedule

27.7 - Annual Guardianship Plan - Person

27.8 - Annual Guardianship Plan - Estate

27.9 - Application to Terminate Guardianship

27.10 - Notification of Guardians's Receipt of Fees Other than Through Guardianship

27.11 - Notification of Ward's Important Legal Papers

27.12 - Receipt Guardians's Guidebook

20.0 - Application for Appointment of Conservator

20.1 - Judgment Entry Appointment of Conservator

20.2 - Letters of Conservatorship

Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center Record Check Form

Confidential Disclosure of Personal Identifiers

Appl - Application to Extend Time

Appl - Application/Computation of Guardian Fees

Motion Requesting Authority to Establish (ABLE) Account

Judgment Entry Granting Authority to Establish Stable Account

Subpena Duces Tecum (Civil Case)

Application to Pay or Deliver Estate of a Minor Without Appointment of Guardian of Estate

RC 16.6 - Application to Pay or Deliver Estate of Minor Without Appointment of a Guardian of Estate

RC 16.7 - Pay or Deliver Property of a Minor Acknowledgment of Responsibility

RC 16.8 - Judgment Entry to Pay or Deliver Estate of Minor Without Appointment of a Guardian of Estate

22.3 - Verification of Receipt and Deposit

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