Guardianship And Social Security Benefits

Parents of children with disabilities face challenging legal issues when their child transitions into adulthood. Once your child turns 18, you will no longer have legal authority to act on his or her behalf unless you pursue guardianship.

A guardian is someone who is legally responsible for another person. A guardian has the authority to make important decisions and act on behalf of the person who is incapacitated (the ward). If your child is unable to make decisions due to a significant disability, a complete or partial guardianship or conservatorship may become necessary.

These tools will allow you to:

  • File for disability benefits on your child's behalf
  • Make decisions about your child's medical care and living situation
  • Enter contracts for services on your child's behalf
  • Manage your child's property and finances
  • Make decisions about your child's education

Does A Guardianship Make Sense For Your Situation?

Guardianships are not always the best approach to caring for your adult child with disabilities. Alternative arrangements — such as becoming a representative payee for the purposes of managing your child's disability benefits — may be better suited to your child's needs. If your child is legally competent to make decisions for himself or herself, then a guardianship will not work. Instead, you might consider a durable power of attorney.

Various legal tools are available to care for an adult child with disabilities. It is critical to speak with an experienced disability lawyer to discuss your family's options.

Contact Our Marietta Disability Attorneys

In Georgia, contact the disability law firm of Burgess & Christensen. We guide clients through the transition into adulthood of a child with special needs. Our lawyers can assess your situation and advise you of an approach that makes sense for you and your child. We are well-versed in all aspects of disability law, including not only guardianships and conservatorships, but also special needs trusts, powers of attorney and disability benefits.

To learn more about guardianship and Social Security Disability benefits, call 770-422-8111. Our office is conveniently located just off the historic Marietta Square.