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ohio guardianship

When I’m gone, who will speak for my disabled child?

Every parent of a child with a disability worries – what happens when I’m gone?   Other children grow up to become self-sufficient. A child with a disability grows into an adult with a disability. They will need someone there for them. Who will speak for your disabled child when you’re gone?

Finding someone who “gets it”

Caring for a special needs child is tough enough. Parents know their own child. They know what they need now and what they will need as an adult.  Along the way, there are family or friends who also “get it.” These are people the parent would entrust with their child.

Parents planning for the future can ensure their child –whether a minor or an adult – is looked after by one of these trusted people.  Ohio law permits them to nominate a specific guardian for their disabled child, even if their son or daughter has entered adulthood.   

Parents nominate a guardian for the future when they may not be there. A guardian who will speak for their disabled child.

Who will speak for your child?

An adult with disabilities may need a guardian whether they live independently, in a group home or in an institution.  Even if a guardian doesn’t provide direct care, they will need to make important decisions about health care, living quarters or special educational needs.  A guardian oversees their care and steps in if something goes wrong. They become the disabled person’s voice.

If you pass away or are unable to make decisions for your child, the court can appoint a guardian.  If you have nominated someone for the post, the judge must consider that person, ask if they meet the legal requirements and determine it is in the best interest of your child.   Without a nomination, the court must consider whoever applies to be the guardian of your child.

We can help

At Holland & Muirden, we understand that the future – and estate planning – is different when you care for someone with special needs.  Contact us today to make your plans. http://holland-muirden.com/ohio-law-areas-of-practice/ohio-estate-planning-probate-attorneys/

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Medina, Ohio Attorney Learns About Psychiatric Disorders in Children

Attorney Janis Zachman recently attended a class on psychiatric disorders in children.

The curriculum included information on internalizing/emotional disorders (such as anxiety or mood disturbances), externalizing/behavioral disorders (such as disruptive disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)  and trauma based disorders (such as reactive attachment), along with proven treatments.

The class was in fulfillment of her recertification as an Ohio Guardian ad Litem.  

This information is timely in our community as several of our area high schools deal with teen suicides.

Parents, child advocates and high school students are encouraged to learn more about depression and other indicators of risk for teen suicide at an E4 Youth Summit, sponsored by Medina County United Way on February 18-19 at the Blair Center in Westfield.    E4 stands for Equip, Educate. Empower and Engage.

All Medina County high school students are eligible to apply to participate.  Applications are available at each high school or by email from the United Way at kjones@unitedwaymedina.org.

For more information on teen suicide in Medina County, see Medina Gazette: United Way: County failing to address teen suicide

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