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Do You Have a Guardian Designation for Your Minor Children?

elder law, elder law attorney, elder law planning, estate planning attorney, florida elder law attorney, Medicaid planning, florida Medicaid planning, florida Medicaid planning attorney, florida estate planning attorney

Parents of minor children should frequently update their estate plans, particularly their guardian designation. It is one of the essential steps in making sure your children are taken care of in any “worst-case scenarios.” Naming a guardian directs who will take over as your minor child or children’s caregiver in the event of your death or incapacity. If you have any minor children, your estate plan is not complete until you have nominated a guardian. A guardian, when speaking in legal terms, is an adult named as responsible for a minor’s welfare, decision-making, and property/benefit management on their behalf until they...

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Did You Know that “Custody” of Your Special Needs Adult Child Does Not Confer Legal Rights?

elder law, elder law attorney, elder law planning, estate planning attorney, florida elder law attorney, Medicaid planning, florida Medicaid planning

Did you know that when a child turns 18, they are an adult under the law? Previous guardianship or custody orders cease because adults, typically, can provide their own care. Did you know that when a special needs child turns 18, they are also an adult under the law? When an adult child suffers from a mental/physical illness or handicap that prevents them from providing their own care as an adult, they may remain with their parents under a guardianship order. But parents of adult special needs children do not receive guardianship automatically. In most cases, parents with a special needs...

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What Parents Need to Know About Adult Guardianship of their Special Needs Child

When your child is 17 years old or younger, you, as the parent, have the legal right to make all their major decisions for them. But once your child turns 18 years old, they have the legal right to make decisions on their own. In some cases, a special needs child may not be ready for this responsibility when they turn 18. In some cases, they will never be prepared for this level of responsibility. Are you the parent of a special needs child considering applying for adult guardianship? What is Guardianship? Guardianship is when a court gives one individual (the...

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How to Seek Adult Guardianship

Do you have questions about adult guardianship? Are you unsure what it means to seek guardianship or how to start the legal process of naming a guardian? Adult guardianship is a legal procedure in which the court determines that an individual is incapable of making decisions due to a disability or that the individual requires protection. In some cases of adult guardianship, the individual is too confused or forgetful to make decisions about medical treatment or obtain appropriate food and shelter. This situation would be referred to as “disability.” If the court finds someone to be unable to make decisions...

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The Duties of an Adult Guardian or Conservator

Are you a guardian or a conservator? Or both? The court appoints both guardians and conservators in situations where an individual has been determined to be incapacitated (mentally or physically) or when a minor requires an adult to manage property on their behalf. In this situation, the individual is generally referred to as a ward of the court. The duties associated with being a guardian and a conservator sometimes overlap, and in some cases, the same individual will be appointed to fulfill both roles. But guardians and conservators are not the same. Guardian: Responsible for a ward's personal care. Conservator: Oversees...

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Estate Planning for Families with Special Needs Children

Families who have special needs children have to take extra care when creating their estate plans. Regardless of whether their special needs child is a minor or an adult, it is critical that they consider the possibility of the child’s needs now and in the future. Will the child need to receive needs-based public benefits such as SSI or Medicaid? Will they have what they need and still be able to qualify? Estate planning considerations for a special needs child will depend on the child’s age, their level of competency, the family, and other considerations. The goal is simple: to use...

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Elderly Guardianship Basics: How to Get Guardianship

In some situations, it becomes necessary for an adult to be appointed with a guardian. In this situation, the court appoints an individual to handle decisions for another adult who is no longer capable of safely making decisions on their own. In most cases, this situation becomes necessary when an older person/family member has an accident or suffers from an illness that causes mental deterioration like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you believe that a loved one or someone close to you is in need of a guardian appointed by the court, start by gathering all the relevant information. List out...

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