Establishing guardianship in Indiana has the potential to be a complicated and contentious process. However, recent laws have added other options for people caring for those with disabilities. This could include individuals of any age and at any station in thier lives.
One of these less serious alternatives to guardianship is known as supported decision-making. This could be a good option for those who are willing to accept some help making important choices. For example, a small-business owner who recently suffered a stroke might enter into a supported decision-making agreement with a spouse, an adult child or another similarly trusted party.
As explained on The Arc of Indiana's website, supported decision-making is one of the least restrictive options available. That could make it a good way to formalize a relationship between a trusted advisor and the person responsible for making decisions. This may even form part of a long-term strategy that prepares a future ward and guardian for a guardianship should it ever become necessary.
Guardianship in its own right is often customizable to the needs of the parties involved. As explained on the website of the state of Indiana, guardians are responsible for many aspects of their wards' lives. However, the court has the power to limit the responsibilities and privileges of guardians in certain cases.
Because it is such a powerful tool, guardianship may not be the first choice for many people struggling with new disabilities. Exploring all the options before committing to a specific strategy could result in a more satisfying and more effective agreement for everybody involved.