Life is never what you expect when someone you love has a developmental disorder. Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other conditions that could cause intellectual disability make many of the challenges of adult life meaningless. When it comes to care or finances, these people may rely on others for their entire lives.
This reality is simple enough in the legal environment when a person is a minor and has parents or guardians to care for them. When this sort of care has to continue into a person’s adulthood, things become a little more complicated. Fortunately, parents can often prepare for this.
Conservatorship is the legal appointment of a representative to manage a person’s finances, assets and other needs if that person lacks the capacity to do it. This can be temporary for the purposes of continuing care while a new conservator is found, but the goal is to find a permanent solution.
The only legal authority in Connecticut to appoint conservators is the probate court for the jurisdiction of a person who needs one. If a person becomes unable to manage his or her affairs due to age, the Department of Social Services may take conservatorship if another one is not found.
Parents of children who will need conservators once they reach the age of 18 may prepare to petition the court for this investiture within three months of that birthday. An attorney can help prepare the appropriate documents and represent a petitioner’s interest in court. This can make time spent in court and preparing for it easier and faster.