A Continuing Tutorship is a legal process whereby the court decides that your child will not be competent to make decisions after he or she reaches 18 years old. Continuing tutorships are usually for children with special needs or disabilities who will be impaired from making their own decisions as an adult. Once a disabled child turns 18, the child is considered an adult and the parent may no longer make medical and financial decisions for the child.
A parent may file for a continuing tutorship from at least 15 years old but cannot be over 18 years at the time of the court decision. The court will usually name the child’ s parents but may select someone else if necessary. The person named to make decisions for the child is called the child’s “tutor.” The tutor then is the person who has the legal authority to make medical, financial and legal decisions for the adult child.
Once your child turns 18, you can no longer ask the court for a continuing tutorship. Instead you will have to ask the court for an expensive and time-consuming interdiction, which is a far more complicated legal process whereby the court appoints a lawyer for your child and may be required to post a bond. It is much easier and less expensive to apply for continuing tutorship before the child turns 18.
The child will have a tutor until you or an attorney representing your child asks the court to remove the tutorship and presents evidence that the child no longer needs a tutor. Please note, once a person turns 18, parental income and resources are no longer considered by SSI even if the recipient’ s parents have continuing tutorship.