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Rights and Resources for People who have a Guardian



A ward has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and other important rights, including:

  • To speak privately with an attorney, ombudsman or other advocate
  • To have an interpreter if the person does not speak English or is deaf or hearing impaired. The ward cannot be charged fees for these services
  • To have witnesses appear in Court and speak on behalf of the ward
  • To privacy. This includes the right to privacy of the body and the right to private, uncensored communication with others by mail, telephone and personal visits.
  • To exercise control over all aspects of life that the Court has not delegated to the guardian
  • To appropriate services suited to person needs and conditions, including mental health services
  • To have the guardian consider personal desires, preferences and opinions
  • To safe, sanitary and humane living conditions within the least restrictive environment that meets a person’s needs
  • To equal treatment under the law, regardless of race, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or political affiliations
  • To have explanations of medical procedures or treatment
  • To have personal information kept confidential
  • To review records, including medical, financial and treatment records
  • To procreate, or consent or object to sterilization
  • To drive, if legally able
  • To vote, if legally able

Helpful organizations and websites: 

For more information about guardianships, see the Ohio Guardianship Guide at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/files/publications.   Helpful forms and other information may also be found at Disability Rights Ohio, www.disabilityrightsohio.org.   Persons in need of help with a guardianship issue can contact Disability Rights Ohio at 614-466-7264 or 1-800-282-9181 (toll-free in Ohio only) and TTY:  614-728-2553 or 1-800-858-3542 (toll-free in Ohio only).

Information about alternatives to guardianships can be found at Pro Seniors at www.proseniors.org.  Pro Seniors’ Legal Hotline for Older Ohioans provides free legal information to all residents of Ohio age 60 or older.  They can be contacted at 800.488.6070 and TDD 513.345-4160.

To apply for help from Legal Aid with a guardianship related problem or other civil legal matter, please call intake at 1-888-817-3777 or visit a neighborhood Brief Advice Clinic (see schedule at www.lasclev.org).