Guardianship Information Please know, the information below is to give you a place to start, people to contact, etc. as you determine what route is best for you and your family. This information obtained below comes from classroom parents who went through the process of obtaining guardianship. I'm simply passing contact information along....
What is Guardianship? Guardianship is a legal proceeding in which someone (usually a family member) asks the court to find that a person is unable to manage his or her affairs effectively because of a disability. A guardian steps in the shoes of the person with a disability and makes the decisions for them. The process to set up a guardianship can be long and expensive and is not a decision to be taken lightly. This article presents five things to think about when considering whether to seek guardianship for your child once he or she turns 18. There are different types of guardianship depending on the person’s needs. Generally, there is a guardian of the person and guardian of the property and one person can serve as both.
Attorney Resource from our Clay County School District Transition Coordinator: Florida Coastal School of Law offers disabilities service attorneys for free! They may have to work with a student attorney, by they are supervised by attorneys. Florida Coastal School of Law Contact Information: 904-680-7700 in Jacksonville, FL
Attorney Resource from the parent of an ESE student: Mary Cobb, 431 Stowe Ave, Orange Park, FL 32073, (904) 269-5800. Her practice is called Cobb & Cobb. The practice handles guardianship, wills, trusts, estate planning, etc. As part of the process, the student also had to have an attorney - she met with her once and she was at the court hearing. Her attorney is wonderful as well - her name is Nancy Kemner, http://www.jaxelderlaw.com, 414 Old Hard Rd, Fleming Island, FL 32003, (904) 278-1178. Both attorneys are very skilled but also very warm and genuine.
The Arc Jacksonville Resource:https://www.arcjacksonville.org/ has a list of attorneys that will do a Guardianship Advocacy for Members of the Arc Jacksonville for the fee of $400.00.
****You, of course, have the option of going to Legal aid or an Elder Law Attorney; however, this is a very reasonable cost available to members and can save you several thousands of dollars.****
Information Directly from ARC:
Please note that anyone that desires to use our attorneys must be members of The Arc Jacksonville. Membership information is contained in the packet. I have also provided a document that lists other resources for obtaining guardianship.
It is my hope that anyone with an Intellectual (IQ 70 or below) or a Developmental Disability (CP, DS, Autism, Spina Bifida, Prader-Willi), is on the MedWaiver or has applied to the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) to get on the MedWaiver. Services will end when school ends for their children; however, the period of transition can move someone up on the wait list as well as other factors that may need to be considered.
We can also discuss Social Security, Trust Account options, Post Secondary Education options, our college program and a host of other things as may be needed.
The contact information for The Arc is in the Transition Services Directory for Community Agency Resources.
For Social Security, your child will need to file SSI with an in person appointment, which means you will need to contact a local SSI office to book an appointment time.
When someone turns 18, they become an adult and are expected to make the right to make decisions about their medical treatment, finances and life. In order to make these decisions binding (in a legal sense), the person should be competent to understand the decision being made and the consequences of that decision.
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