While most children are capable of making logical decisions once they turn 18 years of age, there are some who may not be. Whether your child has a mental disorder or some other condition that reduces his or her reasoning abilities, it can be wise to put in place legal parameters that will prevent poor choices once adulthood is reached. We at Zapolis and Associates, P.C., can help you determine the right form of legal support that will best meet the needs of your family member.

While establishing a guardianship may be the right choice for some parents, the American Academy of Pediatrics Illinois Chapter offers some alternatives. One option is to include provisions in your estate plan. This can include the financial needs that your child will have and how they will be met, where he or she will live and who will provide the care for your child once you are gone.

Another alternative is creating a living will, a durable power of attorney or an advanced medical directive. In some cases, establishing a joint bank account to control spending may be all that is required.

An important part of taking care of your child is determining exactly which concerns you have and how you can approach them. It is important to realize that, once your child is a legal adult, he or she will have the ability to make important decisions, including consenting to medical treatment, getting married, voting, opening credit cards and signing contracts. You will need to evaluate whether legal protection needs to be put in place to provide guidance in these choices. For more information on this topic, please visit our web page.