When most children reach the age of 18, there is a societal acceptance that they are old enough to make their own decisions. Until that age, however, minor children are under the care or guardianship of another. This is often a parent, but in the case of divorce or death of the parents, the child may be turned over to a person, called a tutor, who becomes the child’s legal guardian. A Baton Rouge continuing tutorship lawyer can help navigate this situation for those involved.
For some minors, continuing tutorship is needed because of special circumstances or needs of the child when they turn 18. Identifying this person is a part of estate planning for many families. Understanding how the process works, what the needs of the child are, and who qualifies for continuing tutorship can be confusing and raise many questions.
A Baton Rouge continuing tutorship lawyer at Magnolia Law has the answers that you are looking for. Our team has helped clients for nearly a decade with many facets of estate planning, family law, and insurance defense.
Tutors can be designated parents, extended family, or other caregivers who are court-ordered. Whoever is responsible for the tutorship is responsible for the overall care of the child over whom they are appointed guardian, including financial and personal obligations. The tutor, therefore, must meet specific qualifications to be appointed in Baton Rouge.
In Louisiana, there are four types of tutorships. These include:
Tutorships apply to children until they reach the age of 18. Once they do, they are considered adults who are able to care for themselves and make decisions on their own behalf. However, some children need help beyond this age because of special needs or other circumstances. The request for continuing or permanent tutorship can occur in one of the following three ways:
The requests for continuing tutorship must be made while the child is between the ages of 15 and 18. If the request for continuing tutorship is not done prior to the individual turning 18 years old, the only option will be to file for an Interdiction to protect the individual and/or their interest.
Under a continuing tutorship order, the guardian of the individual can help ensure that all their basic needs are met beyond their 18th birthday because they feel that the individual cannot make those decisions on their own. These include medical care and financial decisions.
To qualify, the requesting individual must show that the child displays less than two-thirds of the mental capacity of what is considered the standard ability for someone their age. This is done through specific testing procedures, such as an IEP test.
A: Continuing tutorship is the legal option involved for parents or guardians of children with special needs who will need additional care after their 18th birthday. Because an individual is considered able to make their own decisions at the age of 18, continuing tutorship allows a guardian to make important decisions about an individual’s basic needs, such as needed healthcare or financial decisions.
A: When an individual is legally appointed as a tutor for a child, they must show that they are willing to accept the responsibilities of such an appointment. When court-appointed, the tutor must take an oath and provide securities that are equal to what the child owns. Once these two obligations are met, they will be provided a letter from the court, known as a Letter of Tutorship, which officially grants permission to act on behalf of the child.
A: The individual seeking tutorship must go through the legal process. This begins with filing a petition through your attorney with the court. A medical professional or doctor will then evaluate the child in question to determine whether support is needed. The individual seeking guardianship will then need to produce evidence that they can care for the child, including financial records and other documents that show how they can meet the child’s needs. The court will then make a determination.
A: An under-tutor is the designee that a court appoints as a kind of mediator between the tutor and the child. They intervene whenever there is a question about whether the interests of the minor are being met or if the interests of the tutor conflict with the interests of the minor. The under-tutor’s role is to act for the benefit of the minor.
Determining that long-term care for a child is necessary can be a difficult decision, but for those with special needs, it can be the right one to make. For parents, planning for long-term care should not only include their own roles but also anyone else who may be responsible if they are unable to. At Magnolia Law, our team can help guide you through the estate planning process as well as the tutorship process. That way, you can make the right decisions for yourself and your family. Contact our offices today.