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Legal guardianship of an adult child


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Old 6th July 2017, 4:37 PM   #1
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Legal guardianship of an adult child

Our kids are getting older, and for the most part, they are doing great.

Our oldest, who has apsergers and coupe of other issues, is doing really well, as is our younger daughter. Our son is also doing well, but we are getting to a point where, because of his age, we are considering starting the process of taking legal guardianship when he;s an adult, as he has some more significant developmental delays ( but none that are intelectual).

Has anybody had to do this? Was it difficult, and how did your adult child handle it?
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Old 6th July 2017, 4:52 PM   #2
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I imagine this answer is going to be highly dependent upon where you live...

I haven't been through this process but I think I may have to some day for very similar reasons. I'm curious to hear others responses.
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Old 6th July 2017, 5:17 PM   #3
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In the US, the process of obtaining legal guardianship is cumbersome & not to be untaken as a DIY project. Hire a competent family lawyer. You will need reports from several doctors. A Court will hire an independent investigator at your expense to meet with your child & assess his level of functioning / disability.


If you work with an ARC in your state, sometimes they have programs to reduce the costs of obtaining a guardianship & you may be able to make some institution / organization the co-guardian with you or the successor guardian after you pass. This is an issue because your son will probably outlive you.
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Old 6th July 2017, 5:19 PM   #4
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I suspect that your Legal Guardianship is our Power of Attorney. Are you looking for the right to make decisions on his behalf? If so, it would be the same thing. I have to do the same thing for my 20yo soon. In our case, he welcomes it because he HATES making decisions and dealing with money. His lack of desire for independence makes him a little too happy to hand it all over to us....if you know what I mean.

I would imagine that as your son does not have an intellectual disability, you'd need his blessing to proceed. Have you broached the subject with him at all? In what parts of his life do you see the Legal Guardianship being helpful?
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Old 6th July 2017, 5:22 PM   #5
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I suspect that your Legal Guardianship is our Power of Attorney. Are you looking for the right to make decisions on his behalf? If so, it would be the same thing. I have to do the same thing for my 20yo. In our case, he welcomes it because he HATES making decisions and dealing with money. His lack of desire for independence makes him a little too happy to hand it all over to us....if you know what I mean.

I would imagine that as your son does not have an intellectual disability, you'd need his blessing to proceed. Have you broached the subject with him at all? In what parts of his life do you see the Legal Guardianship being helpful?

Legal Guardianship is a step beyond Power of Attorney in most places. It's permanent by court order & can be bestowed even over the person's objections if appropriate. Power of attorney is voluntary & the person has to be competent to grant the POA. You can't get legal guardianship over a competent person.


I used to serve on a board of an organization that became the guardians of people with special needs.
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Old 6th July 2017, 5:40 PM   #6
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Legal Guardianship is a step beyond Power of Attorney in most places. It's permanent by court order & can be bestowed even over the person's objections if appropriate. Power of attorney is voluntary & the person has to be competent to grant the POA. You can't get legal guardianship over a competent person.


I used to serve on a board of an organization that became the guardians of people with special needs.
Thanks for that information. I think it's fairly safe to assume we have a similar set up here. Now I'm wondering if LG would be what is best for us....and I'm also not sure if my son would be deemed competent to grant POA anyway. He's got an IQ of 50 which puts him borderline between mild and moderate intellectual disability.

Enough about me. Back to wmcbride now.
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Old 7th July 2017, 12:44 PM   #7
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I'm also not sure if my son would be deemed competent to grant POA anyway. He's got an IQ of 50 which puts him borderline between mild and moderate intellectual disability.

There are also limited guardianships. You can manage his money & maybe his medical care but he can still make some other decisions for himself.
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Old 13th July 2017, 9:32 AM   #8
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sorry it took so long to get back to this. I've picked up a few extra contracts, and have been working on them.

My son is right on the border between being verbal and non-verbal, and during both of the assessments we had done of his skills/deficits, his psychologist noted that his intelligence is extremely high, his mental processing speed is off the charts and he is highly adept at pattern recognition, etc.

Like a lot of people with autism spectrum disorders, he's really gifted in some area, but way behind in others. His fine motor skills are not good, he has significant speech delays, alexthymia, developmental delays, social issues, etc, and his executive processing function is really poor. This make sit hard for him to get organized and engage in the many tasks that are part of daily living.

He's also really prone to black and white thinking, and trusts just about everyone. He does have a concept of money ( we've been showing him how it works and made sure he has some spending money for some time now so that he could gain experience in managing his money), but it's a very rudimentary one.

There is a lot he can do for himself, but in many ways, I can't see how he could live on his own. We need to help him brush his teeth, remind him each day to get a bath, and sometimes, we even have to tell him to eat.

I really can't see him living on his own, and here, there isn't much choice other than living at home as an adult or living in an institution. There are other supports in the community, at least on paper, but the wait lists for services for them can be years ( yes years) long, and that's int he private system. Right now, our pan ( and it is a crappy one, I admit) is to have him live with us for as long as he can while we try and find an alternative that he would be happy with. He's just 14 now, so we still have time left before he reaches adulthood.
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Old 14th July 2017, 5:47 AM   #9
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. Right now, our pan ( and it is a crappy one, I admit) is to have him live with us for as long as he can while we try and find an alternative that he would be happy with. He's just 14 now, so we still have time left before he reaches adulthood.

That's not a crappy plan at all but do be ready to start this process when he's 17. If you allow him to turn 18 without the guardianship in place, he will be considered an adult in the eyes of the law & may lose many benefits.
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Old 14th July 2017, 6:38 PM   #10
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Guardianship entails more accounting for where the money goes, as well as inventory of assets, etc, so it's more burdensome on the guardian. I have been guardian twice with elder relatives. And then Power of Attorney twice as well. POA is much simpler and without so much accounting for what you do but it does vary by state or location, of course, the particular rules. Of course, we were dealing with assets upon their death which you shouldn't have to deal with.

A Power of Attorney is easier for you, but he would have to sign off on it -- and it is revocable, in other words, he can change his mind and revoke your power of attorney. The guardianship isn't revocable and is granted once inability for him to care for himself for whatever reason is proven.
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Old 14th July 2017, 7:52 PM   #11
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https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov....pacity/poa.php

I dealt with this when caregiving, the main difference being my charge was competent to contract for most of her life but a lawyer wouldn't touch her with a ten foot pole once she started talking to the aliens. ADL's were fine, sharp as a tack intellectually but nutty as a fruitcake.

https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov....city/index.php

Since your charge is a minor and apparently not legal to contract yet anyway, there's some time to see what will float and what won't. I'd go at it not expecting any significant improvement. Sure, some may occur but that's a bonus. IOW, worst case scenario.

https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov..../propguard.php

My lawyer always told me that guardianships and conservetorships can be brutal and expensive and we were able to do things without those actions but still the court time to make even simple changes was very expensive, like five figure expensive.

Hopefully they'll be a confluence of options which works for you and is affordable. Best wishes!
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