The Rules Are Changing!
For those who are legal guardian for a loved one, there are some important rule changes that go into effect on July 1, 2022. The Ohio Supreme Court has adopted changes to Superintendence Rule 66.
Many of the changes address concerns arising from a nationwide movement resulting from the death of Casey Kasem (yes, the radio DJ who had the American Top 40 count-down). At the end of his life, Casey had profound dementia and his wife was his legal guardian. She took away his computer, phone, and other means of communication. She also cut off and prohibited Casey from having contact with several friends and family – including his daughter, Kerri. While this did not occur in Ohio, it is illustrative of what can go wrong with poor planning.
Kerri Kasem has now started advocating nationwide to instill new guardianship laws that prohibit Guardians or fiduciaries from being able to close off a person they are supposed to be serving from outside friends, family and visitors. The legislation did not pass in Ohio, but the underlying sentiment that we need to prevent this from being able to occur in Ohio led to the current rule change.
In the future, all courts are specifically directed to accept and address complaints from friends or family who are denied visitation or access to a person under guardianship. Moreover, if a guardian is going to restrict visitation, the guardian must provide that information to the probate court.
Although it is still unknown how courts will treat these situations, I anticipate that notification to a court that visitation is being restricted will result in a visit/call from a court investigator at a minimum but more likely a hearing with a Judge or Magistrate.
To read more about Kerri Kasem’s message, click here to visit her webpage.
To see a copy of the amendments to Ohio Superintendence Rule 66, please click here.
As always, if you have questions about any facet of guardianship, decision-making or planning, Resch, Root, Philipps & Graham is always ready to help. You can contact us through this site or call us at 614-760-1801.