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Robert H. Farley, Jr. writes and publishes on disability and disability law regularly. Below is a sampling of currently available articles and publications.
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Publications and articles are available for reprint by not-for-profit agencies and parents groups; please see reprint requirements on our publications page.
Robert H. Farley, Jr. is available to speak to parents groups, organizations, and agencies on a wide variety of issues related to disability advocacy and disability services. Popular topics include:
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Q. If my developmentally disabled adult son or daughter gives me "power of attorney," will this avoid the need for guardianship?
A. No. Many parents have incorrectly been told to get "power of attorney" from their disabled child. In order for a power of attorney to be valid, the person granting or signing the power must have the legal capacity to consent and fully understand what he or she is doing, which generally does not exist for a person who is developmentally disabled. Even assuming that the developmentally disabled person is high functioning and has some capacity to consent, that person would also have the right to cancel or revoke the power at anytime in the future.
Q. If I am appointed guardian, will I be responsible to pay the disabled person"s bills out of my funds?
A. No. You are not responsible to pay any debts from your own assets.
Q. What could happen if I don't obtain guardianship over my disabled adult son or daughter?
A. With respect to medical care, sometimes doctors and hospitals will accept the consent of the parents of adults with disabilities, but this does not always happen. With respect to living and social arrangements, if a "friend" or "stranger" persuades the disabled person to socialize or live with them, generally law enforcement will honor the desires of the disabled person if there has been no guardian of the person appointed. Without appointment of a guardian, all the parents can do is try to persuade their adult child to choose differently.