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Generally, all parents have decision-making power over their own minor children. The term guardianship is used to describe the legal relationship between minor children and their parents. The law does not distinguish between children with intellectual or developmental disabilities and those without a disability. It is particularly important for families of children with disabilities to document in the parents’ respective wills the individual(s) whom the parent wants to care for his or her minor son or daughter in the event of that parent’s death. A court will usually respect the parents’ wishes, although it is not required to do so. Often a parent must petition to become the guardian of his or her child’s “estate” if the child inherits or receives a gift of substantial assets, including the situation in which a parent or grandparent gives a child an interest in real property or stocks. We can help you make your wishes known in a will, evaluate whether a guardianship is needed and carry out your wishes in court.

For inquires on this practice area, contact:
Andrea C. Anderson
Dan W. Holbrook
Marshall H. Peterson
Eddy R. Smith
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