What do I need to do legally in order to still help make medical decisions for my 18 year old son?

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What do I need to do legally in order to still help make medical decisions for my 18 year old son?

My son is 18, junior in high school. He has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and bipolar. He spent a week in a facility for suicidal thoughts within the last 6months.

Asked on March 14, 2018 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If he is, despite his conditions, still mentally competent, he can execute both a standard power of attorney and also a health care proxy which together will give you the power to make medical decisions for him and see to necessary payments (such as to medical care providers) and otherwise manage his finances, etc. This would be voluntary for him to execute these documents, which a lawyer can draft for you--mentally competent people, even those with psychological or emotional conditions, make their own decisions about whether to grant anyone this authority.
If he is so affected by his conditions that he appears to not be mentally competent to manage his own affairs, you can bring a legal action to have a court declare him incompetent and appoint you his legal guardian. You will need medical evidence (such as doctor testimony) to support this application. It is not a simple case to bring; retain a family law attorney or a lawyer who deals with disability-related issues to help you if you think this is the case.


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