Volunteer Application Process


  1. You must be at least 21 years of age, a resident of the State of Ohio; and a law-abiding citizen.

  2. Submit a completed volunteer guardianship application to the Volunteer Coordinator.

  3. Complete a background check. The background checks are arranged by the Volunteer Coordinator and there is no charge to you.

  4. The Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to schedule a meeting to discuss the Guardianship Program.

  5. Complete volunteer training. The initial volunteer training is approximately 2 hours. You will receive a Volunteer Training Manual with information for your assistance.

  6. You will be matched with a potential Ward based on proximity, background and values as closely as possible.

  7. The Volunteer Coordinator will arrange for you to meet with your potential Ward. You must then make a decision if you want to proceed with the guardianship.


  • If you decide to proceed with the guardianship, and if you match all the legal qualifications to be a Guardian, the Volunteer Coordinator will complete the Application for Appointment of Guardian and other required forms and submit to the Wayne County Probate Court.

  • The Probate Court will review your application, assign a case number, and then schedule a hearing. At least seven (7) days prior to the hearing, the Probate Court must personally give notice to the Ward, and send notice to his/her spouse and his/her next of kin that an application has been filed, and a hearing has been scheduled.

  • At least seven (7) days after the Ward has been notified of the hearing, the Probate Court will hold a hearing on the application.

  • What will happen at the hearing? At the hearing, the Probate Judge will hear evidence given by you or by anyone else who has filed an application to be appointed the Ward’s Guardian. The Probate Judge will then determine from the testimony and other evidence whether or not the Ward is incompetent and in need of a Guardian and who will be appointed the Guardian.

  • At the hearing, the Judge will explain the importance of the decision regarding a Guardian for the Ward. Sometimes there may be more than one applicant, and the Judge will need to decide which applicant is more suitable to be the Guardian.

  • The Judge will review the Statement of Expert Evaluation, Court Investigator’s Report, Guardianship Application, and testimony from the applicant, the Ward and other interested parties.

  • In evaluating the applicant, the Judge will look for a positive attitude toward the Ward, an appreciation of the responsibilities of Guardianship and a willingness to serve.

  • At the end of the hearing, the Judge will decide whether or not the Ward is legally competent and in need of a Guardian, and who will be appointed.

  • What happens after the hearing? After determining that a Guardianship is needed, official papers will be issued that legally appoint you as the Guardian. You will receive a copy of the Judgment Entry, which specifically appoints you as Guardian, and two original copies of the Letters of Guardianship, which outlines your duties as Guardian. Your Guardianship will be over the Ward’s Person Only.


You will be required to file a Guardian’s Report and Statement of Expert Evaluation every year. The Volunteer Coordinator will assist you in this matter. These reports will let the Court know how the Ward is doing.

  • The Guardian’s Report informs the Probate Court of your Ward’s physical and mental well being. The filing of this report also tells the Court if you are successfully meeting your responsibilities as the Ward’s Guardian.

  • The Statement of Expert Evaluation is a report that informs the Probate Court of the current status of your Ward’s physical and mental well being as reported by a licensed physician or other qualified expert.