If you have a loved one who is incapable of adequately providing for his or her personal needs (such as physical health, safety, food, or hygiene) or who is unable to manage his or her personal finances, then he or she may be declared disabled or incompetent in Kentucky. This population is particularly vulnerable to exploitation and being taken advantage of by others. Seeking the legal authority to prevent such exploitation is likely in his or her best interest and we would be glad to discuss the possibilities with you.
The Henderson County Attorney helps people who are seeking guardianship or conservatorship for disabled loved ones in Henderson County free of charge. Kentucky is one of the few states in the nation that still requires a jury trial to declare someone disabled. Our office presents the case to the jury and advocates for the appointment of a guardian or conservator, but can take no role in advocating who the court should appoint to serve in either of those capacities.
Kentucky Protection and Advocacy has developed a very good document about guardianship and conservatorship issues. It is strongly encouraged that you read this pamphlet (PDF) if you think guardianship might be right in your situation. Another great resource is Guardianship in Kentucky. After you read the information on this website, please call the office to set up an appointment with Steve Gold to discuss your particular situation.
Often, we see parents seeking guardianship of severely disabled children who have reached adulthood. Eighteen may seem like a young age, but in Kentucky it means a person is an independent adult. Being an adult means a person can do such things as vote, sign contracts, or consent to or deny medical treatment without anyone else’s consultation or consent. That’s true even for people with disabilities who might need help taking care of themselves or managing where they will live or work. Some families choose guardianship as a way to help a family member who is not able to make or communicate personal decisions or who is unable to take care of personal needs.