Top 10 Things to Know About Guardianship
a guardian, you can continue to protect your child’s interests beyond age 18.
guardian does not get involved in minor daily choices, but only when a major
life decision needs to be made.
your child turns 18, a physician might not provide care, if the physician feels
that your child does not understand the risks and benefits of the procedure,
and therefore cannot give “informed consent”.
your child turns 18, medical providers are not permitted to share medical information,
due to provisions of HIPAA (a law guaranteeing privacy of medical information),
unless you are the guardian.
5. While Durable Power of Attorney and Health
Care Proxy can be helpful, both of these instruments presume that your child is
competent to make these assignments. They can also be revoked by the individual at any time.
your child’s guardian, you have input into goal-setting at your child’s
IEP. You have a strong voice in approving vocational training and advocating for other
services or aspects of the educational program.
guardian, you can be actively involved in planning and approving adult services
and management of adult needs as formulated in the ISP.
individuals with Intellectual Disabilities are at risk of manipulation, e.g.
being pressured into making agreements that are not in their best
interests. As guardian, you are the
person who signs all contracts, so your son or daughter is protected.
ensure that there is no lapse in your legal role, it is best to begin the
process of seeking guardianship early in the 17th
- Verify that recent
psychological testing has been done to help confirm the level of Intellectual
- Contact a team to
perform a competency evaluation and write the Clinical Team Report.
- Contact an attorney
who specializes in disability law and is familiar with the process of obtaining
the guardian, you are protecting your child’s rights and interests, and
allowing him/her the maximum level of choice and independence that he/she is
capable of, while minimizing risks of exploitation and harm.
For more information, or to schedule
an evaluation as part of the process of applying to be your child’s guardian, contact Mary E. Provencher, LICSW at (508)
574-6970, or [email protected],