Before Disabled Child Turns 18

What You Need to Do Before Your Disabled Child Turns 18

When your special needs child is under the age of 18, you, as their parent, can make most, if not all decisions, on their behalf. However, when your child turns 18, the law views them as an adult, and you no longer have the ability to control what and how decisions are made, or even receive relevant information about those decisions. How can you step back in and continue to care for them if needed?

In many cases we recommend having your special needs child sign a Financial and/or Medical Power of Attorney.

  • A financial power of attorney authorizes someone chosen by your child to make financial decisions for them if they are unconscious, too ill to make or communicate the decisions themselves, or otherwise unavailable to do so. Without this important document, you could end up going to court to be granted the authority to handle your child’s financial affairs.
  • A medical power of attorney allows your child to name a trusted agent who can make medical decisions on their behalf if they cannot make them for themselves or are unable to communicate their wishes to the relevant health care providers. So long as your child is able to make and communicate their own medical decisions, they are allowed to do so. You would only be asked to step in in the event they were unable to make or communicate their wishes themselves.

If you have a disabled child who is approaching their 18th birthday, now is the time to start planning for their future. Contact us, we are here to assist you and your child to take the steps needed to ensure that they are as well taken care of as adults as they were when they were children.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and Kierman Law, PLC. The article should not be used as a substitute for legal advice or engagement with a licensed professional attorney. Readers are urged to reach out to us directly regarding specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.