by Fairfax Special Needs Attorney Sheri Abrams
Choosing a standby or successor legal guardian who can make decisions for your adult child with disabilities if you are unexpectedly incapacitated or pass away can be a daunting and difficult challenge. There are many things to take into account such as the potential guardian’s ability to assist your child if you can’t be there for him or her. When choosing a standby legal guardian for your adult child, you should also consider the following:
1) Is your child familiar with the potential guardian? It is usually important that your adult child with special needs is comfortable with the standby legal guardian you are about to choose for them. If you are selecting a guardian that lives far away, you may want to consider ways to begin cultivating a relationship between your adult child and the potential guardian before its needed.
2) Is your potential guardian prepared to make decisions for your child? There are many factors that could fall under this category, but it is important to make sure that your guardian is prepared to make decisions for your adult child. For example, you may want a grandparent to become standby legal guardian if something happens to you, but it’s possible that their age and their own medical needs may make serving in this role difficult for them. Don’t forget to take their point of view into account when making your selection.
3) Have you discussed this choice with your potential standby legal guardian? It is very important that you ask your potential standby legal guardian if this is a responsibility that they can take on. You will also want to talk about your desired path for your adult child to make sure that you are in agreement and that your wishes will be followed.
As parents, we spend a lot of time planning the best future for our children. Make sure that your planning includes naming a standby guardian who you trust who would make decisions for your child if you become unexpectedly incapacitated or pass away. You should be the one making that decision – not the Courts. Call the Law Office of Sheri R. Abrams today and schedule an appointment with a Fairfax special needs attorney so you can have peace of mind knowing that your adult child will have decisions made for them by the person you want, in the way you want if anything happens to you.