Conservatorship: A Guide to Guardianship of Incapacitated or Disabled Person
It is the goal of most people to help those who are mentally or physically disabled live as normal of a life as possible. This includes living on their own and making decisions for their future. However, there are times when these disabilities may inhibit the ability of the disabled person to make these decisions in a manner that is most beneficial to them. When this happens, it is important to appoint a legal guardian to represent their interests.
Guardianship does not necessarily mean that the person appointed guardian must care for every aspect of the disabled person’s life. While this can happen in the event of severe disability or the onset of a serious illness, in most cases a guardian deals with financial, legal or medical issues on behalf of the individual.
Guardianship Must Be Appointed
It is very important to understand that when any person reaches the age of maturity, the age of 18 in most states, they are considered an adult. As an adult, they have the right to make decisions for their life without interference from any other person or entity. This law applies to all citizens of the U.S., including those with disabilities. If a disabled person needs to have a person as a guardian, they must have that guardian appointed legally through the Court system.
Guardianship is never assumed. Even the parents of a disabled adult must be appointed to this position once the disabled child reaches adulthood. This is why it is very important to speak with a Tulsa guardianship lawyer if you are a parent of a disabled child who will soon become an adult.
The guardian does not have to be a parent or a relative. If an adult is disabled or becomes incapacitated by any means, a guardian can be their spouse, friend, relative, or even a Tulsa guardianship lawyer. The only real requirements for this position are that the person is willing and able to take on this responsibility for the disabled person.