Knoxville Guardianship Attorneys

Legal protections for your loved ones with special needs

If you are the responsible party in the life of a child or disabled adult, you need to plan carefully for every eventuality, including your absence from their lives. The Law Offices of LaFevor & Slaughter drafts legal safeguards to be implemented if you are suddenly unable to care for a dependent loved one. Or, if a previously independent loved one begins to act erratically and can no longer be expected to make responsible decisions, we can help you obtain the legal authority to act for his or her welfare. Our firm has more than 38 years of legal experience — much of it devoted to family law issues. We understand and appreciate the bonds of affection between you and your vulnerable loved ones and share your desire to see them protected.

Guardianships for minor children in Tennessee

Parents should have a designated guardian for their children. In the absence of a designation, the court will appoint a responsible adult to exercise authority in the child’s interest. Types of guardians include:

  • Guardian ad litem — usually an attorney who makes legal decision on behalf of a child
  • Guardian of the estate — a person charged with managing an inheritance for a minor
  • Guardian of the person — an adult who takes responsibility for the health and welfare of a child
  • Plenary guardian — a guardian who combines the responsibilities of the estate and the person
  • Emergency or interim guardian — appointed on a temporary basis due to immediate need

The LaFevor & Slaughter helps adults apply to become guardians and advises them on the exercise of their duties. Our firm also advises parents on child custody issues for those who are undergoing divorce or legal separation.

Guardianships for incapacitated adults

Elderly people who are losing the capacity to act in their own best interests often resist your attempts to assume control. If your parents or older relatives will not sign a power of attorney granting you authority, it may be necessary to obtain a court order appointing you as their guardian. Our firm represents adults whose concern for their parents or older relatives prompts them to seek guardianship duties.

Special needs trusts for disabled adults

Just as a dependent spouse may need alimony following a divorce, a disabled adult requires some form of permanent maintenance. When planning for the needs of a disabled adult, you have competing interests. You want to provide enough resources for their lifetime, but you also want them to qualify for benefits, which are based on need. Transferring assets outright will disqualify them, and out-of-pocket expenses will eat away at their assets. LaFevor & Slaughter designs special needs trusts and supplemental needs trusts that allow disabled adults to qualify for benefits but still purchase additional goods necessary for their health and well-being.

Contact a dedicated Knoxville guardianship and special needs lawyer

LaFevor & Slaughter is determined to assist minors and vulnerable adults. To arrange an appointment, call us at 865.272.4454 or contact our office online.