What is guardianship?
- Guardianship is a protective mechanism allowing one individual to make decisions for another individual, when the individual cannot make decisions for him/herself.
What does guardianship mean for adults with Developmental Disabilities?
- Guardianship should be considered for an adult with a developmental disability who cannot make decisions for him/herself.
- The legal stand is “being unable to govern and mange one’s own affairs.”
Who should serve as guardian?
- Typically, both parents seek to serve as co-guardians.
- As parents age, siblings are sometimes added as co-guardians.
- A guardian should: Have an interest in the individual with a disability and be willing to learn about the individual’s needs.
What is the guardianship process?
- An application needs to be submitted to the court.
- The application includes the following: A verified complaint, two doctor’s certifications, and affidavit of assets.
- Parents should meet with an attorney who will draft the necessary documents and comply with all court rules.
Are there important timing rules for the guardianship process?
- The application cannot be submitted to the court before the individual’s 18th
- The court requires two doctors or one doctor and one psychologist to examine the individual within 30 days of the application being submitted to the court.
- For example: If the first doctor examination is on June 1st – all of the documents must be submitted to the court before June 30th.
What happens after the application is submitted to the court?
- The court will set a hearing date
- They will appoint an attorney for the individual with a disability
- The Court Appointed Attorney will arrange to meet with the individual and proposed guardians and submit a report to the court.
- Parents are responsible for the Court Appointed Attorney fees
What are guardians responsible for?
- Making decisions for the individual under guardianship
- All decisions are of a legal, medical and financial nature
- All decisions must be made in the best interest of the individual under guardianship
- Guardians are to encourage the individual to be as independent as possible
If you have Questions please call Alyssa Calixto at 973.808.9555 Ext. 612 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org