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When a person with developmental disabilities reaches the age of 18, that person becomes an adult in the eyes of the law. If a parent or other family member feels that the person needs assistance with making life decisions, such as medical procedures, where to live, or whether to enter contracts, the parent or family member can petition the Court to be appointed as Guardian Advocate.
This is a much less complex process than a full guardianship. It is possible for families to navigate the Guardian Advocate process on their own or with minimal guidance. While hiring an attorney is not required, the family may feel more comfortable with the assistance of an attorney. The Law Office of Pamela G. Martini offers this assistance and other special needs planning services at rates that families can afford, with an emphasis on building a relationship with the family that they can rely on throughout the years.
Families also may need help applying for services with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, applying for public benefits, or managing appropriate educational and behavioral supports. When parents of a special needs child do their own estate planning, special consideration of preserving public benefits for the child's future needs must be taken. The Law Office of Pamela G. Martini offers affordable estate planning services, including supplemental or special needs trusts, and trust administration, if necessary.