Advocating For Your Special Needs Family Member
One of the services we offer is Guardianship — important legal protection for adults with special needs. As your family member approaches his or her 18th birthday, you should consider taking action that will legally appoint you as their guardian. By doing this, you’ll be able to act on his or her behalf when making important decisions regarding education, medical treatment, and financial matters.
If your loved one has a special need that limits their ability to make informed and well-reasoned decisions, emancipation can make it difficult for you to care for him or her appropriately. Consider a relative who requires a life-saving operation. If he or she is not able to fully understand the urgency of an operation, they may decide to forego the procedure and put their life at risk. Without Guardianship, you will not be able to make that potentially life-saving decision on their behalf.
Courts consider Guardianship requests seriously, as we are asking the Court to remove the adult rights from an individual. We can help you navigate this intricate process that requires filing a Guardianship Complaint with the court, as well as filing certifications in support of Guardianship from two physicians, or one physician and a licensed psychologist. Having an attorney involved helps ensure well-substantiated and timely submissions to the Court, interaction with the court-appointed attorney to help explain the necessity of Guardianship, and submission of all other required paperwork.
Reasons to consider Guardianship
School districts must consider an individual who has turned 18 to be independent and able to make his or her own decisions. Because many special needs children are entitled to educational services through June of the year in which they turn 21, a parent without Guardianship may be excluded from IEP meetings and unable to make educational decisions on their child’s behalf. Through Guardianship, you can ensure that your participation in planning for his or her developmental needs, including education and training, is secure.