How to plan for your adult special needs child
Planning for your special needs child after their childhood has ended in Pennsylvania can be challenging. Deciding to become their guardian is one way you can help provide the care and protection they will need as they enter adulthood.
Does your child need guardianship?
One of the primary tasks you should undertake as a parent of a special needs child is to determine if they will need lifelong care or assistance. When your child reaches their 18th birthday, they are legally an adult. However, that may not mean that they can make important life decisions.
When deciding if guardianship is appropriate, you should think of important life decisions your child will need to make. For instance, making health decisions, controlling their finances, and making decisions regarding their health and safety are imperative. If your child has difficulty making choices for themselves in these areas, becoming their guardian may be the best option for their well-being and your family.
There are several different types of guardianship that you can pursue. Of those types, the two that are most common for special needs planning for adult children are a guardian of person and a successor guardian.
A guardian of person is a type of guardianship in which the guardian has the responsibility of ensuring the overall protection and safety of the person in which they hold guardianship. The guardian can make final decisions regarding housing, medical treatment, education, and financial considerations.
Successor guardians provide care for your adult child if you can no longer fulfill the duties. You can name them in your will and in your legal documents to ensure that your child will always have the support and guidance they need.
To seek guardianship, you will need to ask the court system for its permission. Once granted, you will be able to provide the necessary oversight and care to protect your child. You may want to prepare any documentation you may need in advance. As often, the courts will ask for records to verify the need for your child to have a guardian in adulthood.
Becoming a guardian to protect your adult special needs child is a good option to protect their long-term interests. Pursuing guardianship can give you peace of mind and comfort, knowing that you are doing all you can for the benefit of your child.