Discretionary appointment of counsel

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Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person

For guardianship proceedings, Ind. Code § 29-3-5-1(c) specifies that "[u]nless an alleged incapacitated person is already represented by counsel, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the incapacitated person". Ind. Code § 29-3-8.5-1 states, "A court in a proceeding under this article may appoint a volunteer advocates for seniors program or a volunteer advocates for incapacitated adults program", while Ind. Code § 29-3-8.5-7 adds, "The court may appoint an attorney to represent a volunteer advocate for seniors and incapacitated adults."


In 2023, Indiana enacted SB 287, creating a procedure for persons to petition for disclosure of a respondent's confidential medical records for the purpose of seeking a protective order related to an alleged incapacitated person's finances, property, or business interests. See Ind. Code § 29-3-4-1.5.  Under the statute, if the petition complies with the statutory requirements, the court shall issue an order scheduling a hearing date in which the court shall "[a]ppoint an attorney or guardian ad litem to represent the alleged incapacitated person if the verified petition does not identify an attorney [that represents the individual]." Ind. Code § 29-3-4-1.5(d).

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no