Establishing Guardianship
of an Adult

Why Guardianship at 18
The law presumes that an adult eighteen years of age or older is capable of handling his/her own affairs. A guardian may be appointed to serve as a substitute decision maker if a person is disabled because of

  1. mental deterioration
  2. physical incapacity
  3. mental illness  or
  4. developmental disability

Goal for the Child to allow child to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible once an adult Best Time to Begin process 6 months before child turns 18 years old
Guardianship options
Complete Guardianship
Partial Guardianship
Temporary Guardianship
Supported Decision Making
Guardian of the Estate
Medical Power of Attorney/HIPAA Release
Durable Power of Attorney

Approximate Timeline of Steps 6 months before the age of 18 1. Parent/guardian contact local attorney and/or talk to county courthouse 2. Attorney files application for guardianship 3. Court issues a Service & Notice
4. Parent/guardian register and beginning 1 hour training online at JBCC (  JBCC will do a criminal background check (takes up to 6 weeks) on potential guardian of child.

4 months before age of 18

5. Within 4 months  (120 days) of child's 18th birthday, make appointment with child's primary doctor to complete certificate of medical examination and obtain school records/assessments for court.
6. Court will send an investigator to come to the home to interview the child and file a report.
7. Court will then appoint an Attorney Ad Litem to representthe child, review documents, determine if less restrictive alternatives (see below) are an option other than full guardianship.
8. Court Hearing
9. If judge agrees, he/she will issue a court order appointing you guardian
10. You now have to qualify by signing an oath, filing a bond, and then the county clerk issues you Guardianship.

Once a Year

Guardian must file an annual report on court form.
Guardian can also at any time file to change type of guardianship if condition of child improves or gets worse.
Guardian also designates a successor guardian in case of death or incapacitation.

Begin the process = 6 months prior to 18th birthday
Begin the process = 6 months prior to 18th birthday