“Thought for the Day” #939 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

April 3, 2017

There are ways to avoid the time and expense of a guardianship or conservatorship for an adult disabled child while accomplishing the same basic goals. If the person with special needs has sufficient capacity to understand, he or she can appoint an agent using a durable power of attorney over medical or financial matters, preferably both. Depending on the type of power of attorney, the agent will have the authority to make financial and property decisions or medical and personal decisions on behalf of the adult disabled child, all without court intervention or direct oversight. Where possible, this not only avoids the difficulties and encumbrances of guardianship, it also preserves the disabled person’s legal rights along with an increased level of flexibility.