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Is it time for a guardianship for your special needs loved one?

| Jan 21, 2021 | Estate Planning

Most adults have the legal authority to handle their own affairs. They work jobs, pay rent or a mortgage and maintain their own household. When they need medical care, they decide what to do after looking into all of their options. Still, there are adults who are not capable of living independently. People who require the help of someone else to manage their life due to health issues or special needs often benefit from guardianship.

The New Jersey probate courts have the authority to appoint another adult as the guardian of someone who is not capable of managing their own life independently. How can you tell if it’s time for your family to seek a guardianship?

Is a child with special needs becoming an adult?

Teenagers with special needs don’t suddenly develop new skills after their 18th birthday. Many young adults with special needs are capable of some degree of independent living. However, many benefit from oversight and support from their loved ones.

Securing a guardianship before your loved one turns 18 means that you can give the support your loved one needs to live as independently as possible. You can manage rent for them, help them arrange for further education and ensure that they make informed decisions about their medical care.

Seeking a guardianship when your child is about to turn 18 is usually wiser than waiting for a situation in which you would need guardianship authority to finally take action.

Is your loved one an adult with physical or mental health issues?

Some older adults experience cognitive decline or dementia as they age. Some people in the prime of their lives suffer a brain injury in a car crash and can no longer function in the way that they once did.

When an individual who is already an adult begins to decline or has some kind of adverse medical event, guardianship can help ensure that there is someone looking out for them during this difficult time.

Seeking guardianship typically requires that you prove through medical documentation or similar evidence that the individual in question cannot manage their own affairs. Getting help with the process of gathering evidence and presenting it to the courts can increase your chance of successfully intervening to protect your loved one.