Ch. 8 - Q39: Will I need to seek guardianship for my child who has a developmental disability?

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF version

Ch. 8 - Q39: Will I need to seek guardianship for my child who has a developmental disability?

A39:       Parents often think that because they are the parents, they will always have the right to make and communicate decisions for their child who has a developmental disability.  However, in Nebraska, after your child’s 19th birthday, he or she is an adult and is presumed to be legally competent, even if they have a disability that significantly impairs their ability to make or communicate decisions.  At age 19, the law considers the parent to no longer be the child’s legal guardian, and your young adult is legally responsible for making decisions about medical care, finances, and all other areas of life.  For example, many parents are caught off guard when they take their young adult to the doctor and are informed they no longer have a legal right to health information and decision-making.  Parents who are considering guardianship or any of its alternatives need to be pro-active and have plans in place for when their child turns 19.  Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2101.