Obtaining Legal Guardianship
“When preparing for the transition from caring for a child with LGS to caring for an adult with special needs, it's easiest if you have options in place before he or she reaches adulthood.”
Daphne, mother to adult son Matthew
Once your loved one is 18 years old, obtaining legal guardianship may enable you to legally handle assets and make decisions that are in his or her best interests.
Guardianship options are available, depending on your loved one's capabilities.
- Full guardianship: For those incapable of living alone or managing personal, medical, or financial needs on their own
- Limited guardianship: For those capable of making some decisions on their own. A limited guardianship will limit what you are responsible for and give the patient more control over personal, medical, or financial decisions
Laws vary from state to state. Contact an attorney and/or financial planner when beginning the legal guardianship process.
To find a special needs planner in your area, you can visit the Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP). ASNP is a nationwide network of attorneys and financial planners who provide special needs planning services to families and organizations that serve people with disabilities. You can also visit the National Guardianship Association for more information, resources, and a glossary of guardianship terminology.