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Guardianship is a legally authorized relationship between a competent adult (the guardian) and an individual with a disability.  In Utah, all special education rights transfer to the student at age 18 unless guardianship has been previously awarded.

At age 18 the student reaches the age of majority and is considered an adult.  Parents are no longer required to be informed or give their consent for programs or services.  The law requires schools to notify students about the rights that transfer to them when they reach the age of majority by at least one year before their eighteenth birthday.  As an adult, students can decide to exclude parents from participating in meetings and making decisions about adult services.

Guardianship can take various forms and can be limited to one or some areas of life such as medical decision, finances etc. It can also be all inclusive which reverts the individual with the disability to a similar status as they were prior to the age of majority.

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There are options such as supported decision making that can offer an individual appropriate levels of support in making important decisions without pursuing either full or limited guardianship. For more information on Guardianship and Supported decision making please visit the links below:

Utah Parent Center- Guardianship Information

Utah State Courts- Advance Life Planning and Guardianship Online Training

Guardianship Associates of Utah

National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making