A sudden illness, accident, or emergency can leave someone unable to handle their finances or make decisions about their health and safety. These moments often happen without warning. You may also have a disabled child who just turned 18 and find that you have a harder time making decisions on their behalf now that they are an adult. Many parents are surprised to learn that once their disabled child turns 18, they are no longer able to automatically make decisions on behalf of their child. If your loved one does not have a Power of Attorney in place, or if your child will never be able to execute a Power of Attorney due to their disability, you have to go to court through the guardianship process. 

Asking the court for guardianship over your loved one is a serious process. It involves asking a judge to enter an order that temporarily or permanently removes your loved one’s ability to make decisions for themselves. Because this deprives someone of such basic rights, judges need to see medical evidence from your loved one’s treatment providers that they truly cannot act on their own behalf. The judge also needs to be sure that you will act in your loved one’s best interests. This process involves several steps to who the judge that guardianship is the only option available. 

Just because someone is disabled, it doesn’t mean they are left without the ability to make their own decisions. We take the time to examine whether your loved one’s disability makes guardianship necessary. If we determine that it is, then we explain to you how the process works and what documents need to be provided. We make sure that your loved one’s doctors and treatment team provides the necessary medical evidence to establish disability and follow up with them if they do not do so when first asked. When it comes to your loved one’s care, we understand that time is often of the essence and are able to file petitions on an emergency basis when needed. We know how important it is that your loved one gets the care they need and it is our privilege to help you give them a voice.

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Pittsburgh Family Law Services, P.C. provides legal guidance and advocacy to individuals in family law and estate planning matters in Western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, Clarion, and Westmoreland Counties. To find out how we can help you, please contact us.

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