In 2013, the Indiana General Assembly provided funding to establish the Adult Guardianship Office under the Indiana Supreme Court. This office serves as a resource for courts and the general public on issues related to adult guardianship. It also administers grant funding to increase the number of volunteer-based guardianship programs throughout the state. In 2016, more than $800,000 in grant funding was awarded to 14 volunteer-based guardianship programs that serve 28 counties. Currently, these programs serve more than 450 incapacitated adults in Indiana who cannot make personal and financial decisions regarding their care.
In 2016, Indiana implemented a new form to be filed with all new guardianship cases: the Guardianship Registry Form. This form has been used to develop an online guardianship registry. It provides non-confidential information to the public, such as the name of the protected person, name of the guardian, protected person’s birth year, whether the guardianship case is active or expired, when letters of guardianship were issued, county issuing the guardianship, and guardianship cause number. Previously, each court had its own individual process for tracking and monitoring guardianship cases. The lack of statewide uniformity in this process made it difficult to provide statistical data for Indiana. Therefore, the Division of State Court Administration provided grant funds to implement this new Guardianship Registry process.
As each new petition for guardianship is filed in Indiana, the case is entered and maintained in the Guardianship Registry. When crucial case benchmarks are reached, alerts are provided to the court via the Registry to confirm that the proper documentation and actions are taken to ensure the guardianship remains in compliance with state statutes. The Guardianship Registry has many benefits:
- tracks and maintains guardianship cases, making records more accurate, timely, and in compliance with state statutes
- provides useful and timely information to the public on the current status of guardianship cases throughout the state
- alerts courts of important case benchmarks, accounting and inventory due dates, required Guardian Ad Litem appointments, and case expiration
- generates Court orders and guardianship letters
- a vital tool for hospitals, banks, law enforcement, mental health facilities, government agencies, and other service providers who are often placed in emergency situations where knowing whether someone is under a guardianship and who needs to be contacted is critical
- an important tool for courts by tracking the number and types of guardianship cases filed in each jurisdiction