Throwing a Lifesaver Without Going Overboard: Considering Alternatives to Guardianship

Discusses alternatives to guardianship including the use of representative payees, power of attorney, advanced health care directives, and limited involuntary guardianships.

The question I am asked most often by parent’s of individuals with special needs is: “What will happen to my child when I can no longer take care of her?” It is a question of uncertain direction and almost certainly followed by a more directed question about the process of petitioning for guardianship. As a parent of a child with significant needs, I understand the fears of other parents and desires of immortality. As an attorney, I understand the temptation to dive directly into addressing my client’s specific question and begin explaining the process of seeking legal guardianship. That is what the client is asking for, right?


Author(s): Claudia Ines Pringles
Publication Date: 2011