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Division of Guardianship

Kentucky’s public guardianship program is administered by the Division of Guardianship in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Individuals are served by offices in all regions of the state.

In Kentucky, guardianship is a legal relationship between a court-appointed adult who assumes the responsibility of being guardian for a ward. A ward is a person who has been declared “legally disabled” by the court and is no longer able to care for his or her personal and/or financial needs.

 A guardian may be a friend or family member who is willing to care for the disabled individual. If there is no one willing to care for the disabled person, the court will appoint the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as the state guardian.  The duties of the state guardian include the following:

  • Full Guardianship/Full Conservator – In this category the Cabinet will be responsible for both the personal and financial needs of the ward.  In this case, the court will also decide which civil rights the person can retain and which are given to the guardian.  These may include the right to vote, the right to drive a car, the right to make medical decisions, the right to determine where to live, the right to sell property, and the right to sign legal documents such as checks, marriage licenses or wills.
  • Limited Guardian – A limited guardian may be appointed if the disabled person is declared partially disabled and can manage some personal needs but may need assistance with others.
  • Conservator – A conservator may be appointed if the disabled person only needs help with managing financial or fiduciary affairs.
  • Conservator/Guardian - This category allows for a combination of a conservator who manages financial and fiduciary affairs with a guardian who manages living and personal needs arrangements.
Fiduciary Services Branch

The Fiducuiary Services Branch is responsible for all issues related to the financial needs of the wards.  This includes applying for benefits, maintaining benefit eligibility, approval of requests for funds, issuing checks on behalf of the ward to assure that the individual’s personal needs and room and board are taken care of in a timely manner.
Further duties include managing wards assets, completing income tax returns and all other financial needs of the wards of the Commonwealth. 

Field Support Branch

The Field Support Branch provides information to the public regarding guardianship, assists the field offices through consultation and assistance, and develops training for both staff and the community regarding guardianship.


Last Updated 3/30/2009
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