1. Guardianship

1. Guardianship - When children turn eighteen, parents are not automatically still the guardians of their child. At age eighteen there is a transfer of rights to the young adult. The young adult becomes the main decision maker in his or her own life. If the student is disabled and unable to receive or evaluate information effectively or unable to communicate their decisions or lacks the capacity to manage their financial resources and meet essential requirements of health and safety, then a parent may petition the court to make the young adult a “ward” and the parents their legal guardian and decision maker. You should start this process about 2 months before the child turns 18 years old. (Co-guardianship is allowed in some cases. If the first guardian is unable to fulfill their duties then the second guardian would take over. Make sure the second guardian is fully aware of the responsibilities that are involved with guardianship). The guardian is the one who helps link the ward to their community. Guardianships require some time, effort and money (approximately $1,200 – 1800) to get. Basic summary of how this process works: Start by petitioning the court to get guardianship of your child with your attorney representing you. The court will then appoint an attorney to represent your child. Both attorney’s reports have to agree that guardianship is needed. Families (parents) pay for both attorneys.

For more information about guardianship visit The Kansas Guardianship Program:

Durable Power of Attorney (DPA)

DPA is another option (usually an option for higher functioning young adults or clients). DPA can be a valuable tool especially for health care issues. DPA allows someone to be a person’s voice when they are unable or need assistance to voice their own wants and needs. DPA gives someone else the power to have a say in health and financial matters on behalf of the disabled or incapable person. DPA doesn’t take a person’s rights away; they can still make some or most of their own decisions. DPA’s are easier to get than guardianship and can be drawn up by an attorney for around $200-$300 dollars. One should name three people as having DPA (successors) in case something happens to #1 or #2, then DPA falls to #3 person. A disabled person should be able to describe or define Durable Power of Attorney. If the disabled person is unable to describe or understand DPA, then they can’t give Durable Power to someone else on their behalf. If this is the case looking into Guardianship may be your best option.

For more information or to see examples of forms, for frequently asked questions and answers about guardianship and for helpful links such as an assessment to help determine if Guardianship or DPA is most appropriate, visit Kansas Guardianship Program at

Please refer to the next page for a list of some area attorneys who have worked with Blue Valley families on guardianship issues. It is important that you use an attorney that is familiar with laws as they pertain to the unique needs of the elderly or special needs populations.

Please be advised that Blue Valley School District does not endorse or recommend any particular attorney or agency. This is just a listing of some of the attorneys and/or agencies that are known to have assisted with guardianships and or guardianship alternatives in the past. This is simply for your information and is not an all-inclusive listing:

Jim Berger, Attorney

11233 Nall, Suite 140
Leawood, KS 66211
Phone: (913) 491-6332 Email:

Leslie Byram Attorney:

1251 NW Briarcliff Pkwy, Ste. 110 OR 9401 Nall Ave, Ste. 206

Kansas City, Missouri 64116 Prairie Village, KS 66207

Tel: 816-741-7800 Tel: 913-486-0268

Stephanie Goodenow - Goodenow Law Office
8650 Candlelight Lane - Suite 4
Lenexa, KS 66215
phone (913) 648-9994

David Kirk, Attorney

7199 W 98th Terr. Suite 130, Overland Park, KS

(913) 940-7600

Peter Mallouk

5340 College Blvd.


Joseph Morris, Attorney

4701 College Blvd.


Reaves Law Firm, P.C. (Craig Reaves) 816-756-2100

Email: Website:

Amy Vinton, Attorney at Law Offices of Amy Vinton

15700 College Blvd
Suite 200
Lenexa, KS 66219

Phone: 913 -492 5959 Email:

The Weber Law Office: (Karen Weber) 913-661-0550

Zimmerman Law: (Ina Kay Zimmerman) 913-829-5800