If your teen is not able to make or communicate reasonable personal decisions or is unable to manage essential personal needs, you may want to consider the need for a guardianship. This legal tool grants you or another designated person the legal authority to make decisions for your adult child. Guardianship cases can only be heard and determined by the court once an individual has reached the age of majority, which is age At age 18 the child is considered an adult, they are emancipated and receive full adult rights.
Understanding Adult Guardianship in Utah - Burton Family Attorneys
Under Utah law, a guardian may be appointed if an adult is determined to be incapacitated. This means that the adult lacks the ability to adequately evaluate information, make decisions or provide for his or her own basic life necessities. Guardianship arrangements can vary based on the specific needs of the protected individual. However, the basic legal structure remains fairly consistent. Generally, a guardian is responsible for ensuring that the day-to-day needs of the protected person are met. Depending upon the needs and abilities of the protected person, a guardian may make decisions about specific health or professional care, such as counseling or related services. Guardians also routinely determine where the ward will live and what education he or she will receive, if appropriate.
A Review of Adult Guardianship in Utah
Guardianship is surrogate decision making for a person who is over the age of 18 and is unable to make decisions due to some level of incapacity. When a person reaches the age of 18 they receive all of the adult legal rights. If they are unable to understand these rights and exercise them due to incapacity, a judge can appoint a guardian to protect that individual and make legal decisions for them. This is the most restrictive form of guardianship. All adult rights are removed from the protected person and transferred to the guardian to exercise.
As your teen with a disability approaches age 18, the age of majority in Utah, you will need to make many decisions. Among them is whether or not you will need to seek guardianship of your young adult. The time to explore options for supporting your son or daughter in the future is while you are still the one responsible for making decisions about his or her education, safety, and well-being. That way, you have time and opportunity on your side. Guardianship is a legal matter that has consequences for both parents and offspring which involves the court system.