Learn about Guardianship & Adult Children with Developmental Disabilities
As children with disabilities age, there are issues that their parents need to address. One issue that is getting attention is guardianship. There have been laws governing custody for decades now, but society has dramatically overlooked the necessity for guardianship for grown-up children with disabilities in past years. While parents can file guardianship for their adult disabled children, parents should be aware that they are legal custodians of their kids until they reach eighteen years. It is presumed that once a child gets eighteen years, they are adults, can exercise rights like decision making and taking adult obligations. However, if your child cannot do that for themselves, you will be required to file an appeal for guardianship with your province probate court.
What is guardianship
Guardianship involves getting the legal alright to make decisions on behalf of disabled children. As a young adult turns eighteen, the parental authority will cease to exist, and some will be required to make their own decisions alone and take their adult responsibility. At this age, because parental care is no longer needed, a parent will have to make such important decisions, but they have to do it under legal terms. Therefore, they should seek decision-making authority or guardianship for the child, and any person given the authority to make decisions on behalf of the child is a guardian.
Decisions like financial ones can be pretty overwhelming for disabled young adults; managing investments, bank accounts, significant minor small purchases are how a guardian can help an adult child with developmental issues. The courts appoint guardians, and the laws governing the appointment differ. Once the court has appointed a guardian to a disabled child, the child will be called a respondent or ward.
Since the disabled child cannot make decisions independently, guardianship will give you the constitutional obligation to make essential choices for the disabled adult. It empowers you to oversee or be liable for the custody, care, and direction of a person that the court deems incompetent. Illinois law asserts that a custodian can be designated for a person with a developmental disability. The appointment process has specific criteria to follow while evaluating whether the person is disabled for custodianship. The tribunal will only appoint guardianship for those whose physical and mental incapacity renders the person incapable of managing his estate or person.
Since this can be an overwhelming process for any inexperienced person, it will be helpful to find a lawyer to file guardianship for you. If you decide to do it by yourself, ensure that the clerk’s office has the forms that should be filled out to file the appeal, but remember, the registrar’s office will not give any legal advice but only give you blank forms.
Types of guardianship
There are two types of guardianships; guardianship for the person and guardianship for financial matters.
1. Guardianship for person
This involves making decisions about disabled persons’ care. These guardians must act in the ward’s best gains. The duties and powers of a guardian or those that are granted the conservative roles include but not limited to;
- Guardianship for person
- Administering the ward’s comfort
- Taking care of the respondent’s personal effects
- Making everyday decisions about professional care like medical
2.- Guardianship for financial matters
This takes responsibility for any of the ward’s financial matters. They will use the ward’s income or assets. For example, to make the ward’s bills and apply for federal assistance like Medicare, Security disability benefits, Supplemental Security income, among other programs. In addition, this guardian will handle all financial matters and insurance on behalf of the ward, not limited to withholding or approving any contract involving finances.
Don’t wait until the child is eighteen years.
Most parents think they have to wait until the child is 18 years before filing the petition, but this is untrue. Not all disabled kids need a guardian; if they can make good decisions, they might need full guardianship. Anybody considering to be a guardian should understand the total bifurcations of transforming a disabled person’s status to incapacitated. If the court finds the disabled person incapacitated, the person will lose his right to sign a lease, buy a house, make a will, living trust, get a loan or even enter contracts.
Who can be a guardian
Anyone above eighteen years can be a guardian, but they must reside in the USA, be sane, not convicted of a felony, and not disabled. Not for profit or public agencies that the court might find capable of providing the care and willing to accept and execute trusts can serve as conservatives of the estate.
Guardianship is essential for disabled children, but not all of them need it. This is because custody is for those with extreme disabilities, like not making decisions on their own. In addition, a parent can only be a legal guardian for their disabled children only until eighteen years. Still, beyond that, they need a legal authority for guardianship over the disabled.