Why to appoint a guardian for your special needs adult child

As you plan for the future with your attorney, remember to include provisions for any special needs adult child you have. This entails more than just leaving assets in a will or setting up a trust. Finances are necessary, of course, but they only cover one part of the care of your child. The other part is naming a guardian.

Guardianship grants a person the legal ability to make financial or caregiving decisions for someone who is not able to do so. The capabilities of your child will determine how much power to give the guardian and in which area(s). You also have the option of naming a different person for each category. 

Setting up a guardianship may sound complicated or unnecessary. A trusted family member may already look after your child, so why the need to make it official? 

Protection from predators

Unfortunately, adults with special needs are common targets for financial predators, including people you already trust. These criminals become close to their victims, tricking them into give away their money. A guardian with legal control over finances can prevent this from happening to your child. 


Establishing a guardianship ensures that someone will care for your son or daughter. The guardian must report to the court every two years and ask permission before making certain decisions. A judge can remove a guardian who is not fulfilling the role properly and appoint someone else who will serve in the best interests of your child. If the person wants to resign voluntarily, he or she has to go through a legal process.

Peace and comfort

Knowing your child has legal protection will give you peace of mind. It can also give your child peace and comfort knowing he or she has someone to rely on for consistent care and guidance. If you are unsure if guardianship is right for your situation, speak to your attorney about your circumstances and available options.

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