Always a Parent but a Guardian, Maybe

Join us! Wednesday, April 12 @ Noon

Meredith Greene copyThe How and Why of Guardianship and Alternatives Webinar

Guest speaker: Meredith Greene, Special Needs Attorney and Partner at Day Pitney. Additional details below. 




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Coming of age - the inflection point between childhood and adulthood- is the theme of many a classic story from The Catcher in the Rye to The Graduate. These stories trace the path of a  teen's journey to adulthood and the discovery that their idea of what is best for them differs from that of their parents.

For parents of children with disabilities, their child's 18th birthday (in most states) is more than an inflection point - it is a legal turning point that requires close attention. Here are some basic FAQs that will be discussed in greater detail in  Wednesday's webinar. 

When should I begin to consider guardianship?

Once an individual reaches the age of 18, their parent is no longer their legal guardian. Parents need to explore the legal options available to protect their child and to select a preferred guardian before their child's 18th birthday.
How do I obtain guardianship of my child? 
A guardian is approved and appointed by the court and has the legal authority and responsibility to care for the person and their property. The guardian will also be supervised by the court and required to provide an annual report on the status of the person. Types of guardianship may vary from state to state and it is important to consult your special needs planning attorney, financial advisor and search your state's guardianship association or advocacy organization for information specific to your locale. 
Who needs a guardian? 
In the case of a person with special needs, their capacity to receive, evaluate and communicate information about a decision, along with the importance of the decision, should influence whether they require guardianship or conservatorship.
What are the alternatives to guardianship? 
There are several issues involved in guardianship for parents to consider. “High Risk” decisions, such as receiving needed medical care or spending or transferring a large sum of money, can be a first place to focus. Documents such as a Medical/Health Care Proxy and Durable Power of Attorney are important to discuss. 
To learn more about Guardianship, join us for

The How and Why of Guardianship Webinar

Wednesday, April 12 @ 12 Noon. The webinar will be taped and sent to all registrants.  
Roles, Responsibilities and the Right People. Discussion will include:
  • Who needs a guardian?
  • What are the alternatives to guardianship and conservatorship?
  • The guardianship process.
  • Supported decision making.
  • The power of advocacy.

Additional resources: 10 FAQs of Guardianship.