Parents often face many difficult decisions for their children such as where the children should be educated, their religious beliefs and medical care. Such decisions can be more complex with a special needs child, especially as they grow and enter adulthood. Parents have a legal responsibility as well as a moral one to make sure that their children receive the best of care as minors. However, when the child reaches legal age, parents may need to take legal steps to retain guardianship of them.
The parents of an 18-year-old daughter with special needs expressed gratefulness to Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities recently over the group’s decision to offer seminars to Jewish parents in Broward County and Palm Beach County. The seminars are designed to educate parents of disabled children on how they can ensure that their children will be provided for financially through the use of guardianships, living wills and even the use of group homes.
The parents learned that they would need to set up a guardianship for their daughter because she is considered an adult. Without the guardianship, they would not be able to make important decisions on her behalf.
Establishing a guardianship over an adult child who is disabled gives parents legal authority to make decisions the child is unable to make. A legal guardian can manage the person’s financial and legal affairs, make judgment calls in emergency situations and protect the incapacitated adult from becoming a victim of fraud or theft. An experienced attorney may be of great benefit to parents who want to protect their children’s future in this manner.
Source: Sun Sentinel, “Seminars for special needs caregivers set,” Randall P. Lieberman, Dec. 30, 2013