Legal Guardianship and Special Needs: What You Need to Know

The Process of Obtaining Legal Guardianship

At Collins Disability Law, we understand that obtaining legal guardianship for an adult with special needs is a crucial step in ensuring their well-being and security. The process begins with filing a petition for guardianship in the appropriate court, which typically involves providing detailed information about the proposed ward’s condition and the necessity for guardianship.

The court then evaluates the need for guardianship, which may include a medical examination of the adult with special needs and a hearing where all parties can present their views. Collins Disability Law emphasizes the importance of presenting a strong case that clearly demonstrates the individual’s inability to make or communicate responsible decisions about their personal care or finances.

Understanding the Responsibilities of a Guardian

Once guardianship is granted, the guardian assumes significant responsibilities, which Collins Disability Law meticulously outlines for their clients. These duties include making decisions about the individual’s living arrangements, health care, and education, as well as managing their finances and legal matters.

It’s crucial that guardians understand their role is to act in the best interests of the ward, respecting their preferences and desires to the extent possible. Collins Disability Law guides guardians through this process, ensuring they are fully aware of their obligations and the ethical considerations involved in making decisions for someone else.

Legal Support and Guidance

Navigating the complexities of legal guardianship requires knowledgeable legal support. Collins Disability Law provides comprehensive guidance throughout the guardianship process, from filing the initial petition to representing clients in court. Their expertise in disability law ensures that guardians are well-informed about their legal duties and the rights of their wards.

The firm also assists guardians in fulfilling their ongoing legal obligations, such as filing annual reports with the court and responding to any legal issues that may arise during the guardianship.

Long-Term Planning and Support

Legal guardianship is often a long-term commitment, and Collins Disability Law is dedicated to supporting guardians over the duration of their responsibilities. This includes advising on changes in the law that may affect guardianship duties, assisting with modifications to the guardianship arrangement if the ward’s condition changes, and providing resources for dealing with the challenges that may arise in caring for an adult with special needs.

Furthermore, Collins Disability Law emphasizes the importance of planning for the future, including making arrangements for the ward’s care in the event the guardian is no longer able to fulfill their role. This forward-thinking approach ensures continuity of care and peace of mind for both the guardian and the ward.


Legal guardianship is a significant responsibility with profound implications for the ward’s life and well-being. At Collins Disability Law, we are committed to providing our clients with the legal expertise and support they need to navigate this complex process successfully. Our goal is to ensure that guardians are well-prepared to fulfill their duties, advocating for the best interests of adults with special needs and providing them with the care and protection they deserve.