Many parents in the Pittsburgh area care for their children who have special needs.
While these children are minors, that is, under the age of 18 or 21 depending on the circumstances, parents automatically have the authority to make medical decisions and other decisions, like whether to place their child in a treatment facility or whether to enroll the child in a particular school.
However, once the child comes of age, the child’s parents will need to go to court and set up a guardianship if they wish to continue to be able to make important decisions for their child.
A guardianship may also be necessary if the child is entitled to government benefits or owns other property, including the right to receive settlement payments, child support or other income.
Setting up and maintaining a guardianship is a complicated process
In short, a Pennsylvania family may have many reasons to seek a guardianship for a special needs child who reaches the age of adulthood.
Setting up a guardianship is itself a complicated process. Even if everyone involved in the child’s life agrees that the guardianship is necessary, there are still important legal steps that the family will have to take.
Also, while the child’s parents may seem like the logical choice to act as their adult child’s guardians, sometimes, it makes sense to have another person or even a business or not-for-profit act as the guardian.
Once the guardianship is established, the guardians will have to file periodic accountings and reports to show that they are properly managing funds and are acting in the best interest of the child.