As any parent of a special needs child knows, caring for their child is one of the more difficult and rewarding tasks they will ever face. That being said, this issue becomes even more complicated once that child turns 18 and becomes an adult. Sadly, in many cases, these adults will still need to be cared for 24/7, and that often means making sure that they have a legal guardian. Every state, including Pennsylvania, has different laws to establish this process. Therefore, you will need to learn how to navigate the system or hire an attorney to do so.
What is a guardian?
In the legal sense, a guardian is someone who will make an array of decisions for an individual. This means that this person will have the final say in all aspects of the individual’s life, including health care, finances and more. It also means taking the time to establish a variety of legal and financial structures, like financial trusts, which will leave the special needs individual protected in the event of the untimely death of the guardian.
How to become the legal guardian of your special needs adult
There is often a long court process involved in cases like these, and it is vital that you select an attorney who has experience in these areas and is familiar with family and guardianship law. The process works through the court system, and you will need to formally petition the court to be named as guardian. At the court hearing, you will have to prove that the guardianship is necessary because the individual in question cannot make these decisions on his or her own.
This process is usually not a contentious one, but it is worth starting as soon as possible. It is a good idea to connect with a law firm that is familiar with this type of law in order to make sure that you receive the best legal representation possible.
To learn more, visit our Guardianship page.
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