Guardianship of a Minor

What is a Guardian?

A guardian is appointed by Probate Court to protect, make decisions for, and act for a person in need of a guardianship. The person needing a guardian is known as a ward. A guardian of a minor, once appointed by the Court, will receive Letters of Authority to act as legal guardian of the ward.


Three types of minor guardianships:

  • Minor–person only: Any person under 18 years of age who has neither a living father nor mother or whose parents are unsuitable to maintain custody of the minor.
  • Minor Estate: If a minor receives money or property in excess of $25,000, a guardian of the Estate must be appointed. The property may come from insurance or an inheritance. If the minor has suffered a personal injury, the settlement must be approved by the Court, and the funds will be placed in a custodial account if under $25K or in a guardianship account if over $25K.
  • 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.


Rights/Information for the Ward:

  • A ward has the right to be present at the hearing, to object to an application for their guardianship, to have the hearing recorded, to have a friend or family member present at the hearing, and to be represented by an attorney.
  • A ward must be a resident of Summit County, Ohio.
  • Any ward over the age of 14 will receive written notification of the guardianship application and must consent to the guardianship.


How do I become a Guardian?

  • You must file an Application for Guardianship at Probate Court.
  • All forms are available at Court or on the website.
  • All forms must be completely filled out, typewritten or legibly printed.
  • If more than one minor from the same family is involved in a guardianship, separate case filings are required for each ward.
  • You must accept the duties and responsibilities of being a guardian.
  • You must have a BCI background check. Background checks should be completed by the time of application. Processing a background check can take anywhere from 3 to 30 days. The fee for BCI Background check is $32.00 and is non-refundable. You must have a valid government-issued photo ID (Driver’s License, State ID, Military ID, Green Card). Background checks are available through the Summit County Clerk of Courts, or you may go to the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation to find a BCI location nearest you.
  • You will be required to attend a hearing to approve the guardianship.
  • All Guardians of the Estate must be bonded. This involves a credit check by a bonding company. A bond is an insurance policy to protect the minor’s money and property from improper actions by a guardian.


Information for the Guardian and the Minor’s family:

  • No other Court, such as Domestic Relations or Juvenile Court, should be involved in the case if guardianship is to be filed in Probate Court.
  • All adult Next of Kin will be notified of the hearing date and time. Next of Kin include parents and siblings. Other Next of Kin may also be notified.
  • An investigation will be conducted by a Court Investigator.
  • A formal hearing will be conducted by the Judge or Magistrate to determine if the guardianship is necessary, if the guardian is suitable, and if the guardian understands his/her duties.


Forms to File with the Court:

Form 16.0 – Application for Appointment of Guardian of Minor

Form GM.4 Addendum to Application for Appointment of Guardian of Minor

Form 16.1Affidavit

Form 16.2Selection of Guardian of Minor Over Fourteen Years of Age

Form 15.0 – Next of Kin of Proposed Ward

Form 15.1Waiver of Notice and Consent

Form 15.2 – Fiduciary’s Acceptance Guardian

Form 15.3 – Guardian’s Bond (determined at the hearing)

Form GA-M.10 – Non-Public Record Information

Form GA-M.12 – Guardian’s Credibility Application

NOTE: A copy of the Minor’s Birth Certificate is required


Fill out this form after you have been appointed Guardian.

Form 15.5Guardian’s Inventory (due within three months after appointment date).


These forms are only needed when releasing or expending the Minor’s funds.

Form 15.6Application for Authority to Release Funds

Form 15.7Application for Authority to Expend Funds/Order

  • An inventory must be filed before expenditures will be approved.
  • You must supply receipts for all expenditures.


Guardian’s Account:

Form 15.8Guardian’s Account

  • Must be filed on an annual basis unless otherwise ordered by the Court.
  • Calculations/totals must be correct.
  • All Guardians must sign this form when multiple Guardians have been appointed.
  • If Account is delinquent, no expenditures, sales, distributions, or fees will be approved.
  • You must supply receipts for all expenditures.
  • Costs must be paid before an account is approved.


Form GM.1 – Guardian’s Report:

  • Due every year on the anniversary date of the guardian’s appointment.


Filing for a Minor Settlement, fill out these forms.

Form 22.0 – Application to Settle a Minor’s Claim

  • A supporting Narrative Statement and a Medical Report or Statement must accompany the application.


Form GM.6 – Addendum – Minor Settlement

Form 22.2Judgment Entry – Minor Settlement

Form GA-M.10 – Non-Public Record Information



To file Dispensing with a Guardianship of an Estate under $25,000, fill out these forms.

Form GM.2Application to Pay or Deliver Estate of a Minor without Appointment of a Guardian

Form GM.3Entry Dispensing with Appointment of Guardian and Ordering Deposit or Delivery

Form GM.5Verification of Receipt and Deposit


Filing Fees:

  • Filing fee for a Minor Guardianship is $280.00.
  • Filing fee for a Minor Settlement is $95.00.
  • Filing fee to Dispense with a Guardianship under $25,000 is $75.00.
  • If you use credit card, a 3% charge will be added.