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Guardianship priority

The Story: Mary has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is in need of a guardian. Mary’s boyfriend, Harold, has been named her Power of Attorney. Both Harold and Linda, who is Mary’s daughter, want to be appointed as Mary’s guardian. Question: Which person has the higher priority, in the eyes of the court? Answer: Harold has a higher priority than Linda, in the eyes of the Court, all other matters being equal. However, the Court does have discretion in making this decision. See IC 29-3-5-5 (a). A person designated in a power of attorney has a higher priority than an adult child, when a court is considering the appointment of a guardian. The overriding issue is the best interest of the incapacitated person. The court, acting in the best interests of the incapacitated person or minor, may pass over a person having priority and appoint a person having a lower priority. See IC 29-3-5-5 (b). This information if for informational purposes only and should not be understood as legal advice in any manner. Please consult with an estate attorney who can better understand you r particular situation and can make appropriate recommendations.

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