Do special needs adults need guardians?

Special needs adults may need help in some areas. While you may plan on assisting your child, someone else may need to fill this role if something happens to you. You may want to consider appointing a guardian.

According to the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, a guardian has the ability to choose where your child will live and what kind of medical treatment he or she will receive. Assigning a legal guardian removes a special needs adult’s ability to make choices about his or her life. A court may appoint one if your child lacks capacity. Capacity means that your child can understand information, make a choice and then tell other people about that choice. If your child is capable of making some decisions, you may want to consider other options as well.

Help with medical matters

If your special needs adult cannot make medical decisions without assistance, you may want to assign a guardian in this area. A guardian can receive access to medical information so that he or she can ask questions about issues your child may face. This person can also decide which treatment is most appropriate for your child.

Help with finances

You can also limit a guardian to having authority over your child’s finances. A guardian can manage the benefits that your child receives from the government. If you place funds for your child’s care in a trust, this person can manage these assets, as well as any property that you may leave to your child. Special needs adults may be able to handle money in everyday transactions. A guardian can monitor your child’s bank accounts to make sure he or she uses the money responsibly.

If you think that some type of guardianship will be appropriate for your child, you may want to set this up early. This step ensures that your child will always have the necessary guidance.

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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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