NT Guardianship Forms Print
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 10:46
 Download Application Forms
Form - A
Form - B
Form - C
Form - D

One of the major aims of the National Trust Act is to "lay down procedures for the appointment of Guardians and trustees for persons who require this protection."

This is a provision, which addresses a very urgent need of parents of persons with disabilities as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities. Till this Act, there was no provision for guardianship for people with disabilities after they had reached the age of 18 except in very special circumstances. The National Trust Act, for the first time, gives this right to parents, or relatives, or registered organizations to ask for the appointment of guardian for the person with disabilities even after they are 18 years of age.

WHO IS A GUARDIAN?

A guardian is a person who assumes the care and protection of another person. The guardian takes all legal decisions on behalf of the person and their property.

All parents are the legal guardians of their children till the child attains 18 years of age. After that parents are no longer the legal guardians. This means that they cannot take any legal decisions on behalf of their child, or legally represent their child. The child is seen as having the ability to take those decisions by itself.

For example, when a child is below the age of 18, parents take most decisions for them. The parent would have the legal authority to decide what school the child attends, where to take the child for medical help, what kind of investments are to be made for the child etc. A child's signature would not be legally valid. However, once the child turns 18, legally, the child has become an adult and can take all these decisions by him or herself. The parent can no longer legally represent their child.

THE SPECIAL SITUATION OF PERSONS WITH, AUTISM, CEREBRAL PALSY, MENTAL RETARDATION AND MULTIPLE DISABILITIES

Persons with Autism, Cerebral palsy, Mental retardation and Multiple Disabilities are in a special situation because under the act, even after they are 18 years of age, they are not seen as being adequately to manage/take any legal decisions for their betterment. Therefore they require someone to represent their interests in the legal areas all through their lives.

However, in case of Multiple Disability there may be need for only limited guardianship because of the availability of enabling mechanism and/or scientific facilitation enabling persons to live with the certain disabilities.

Before the National Trust Act, parents of such offsprings with named disability were not empowered to become the legal guardians of their children after they were 18 years of age. Parents had to approach the courts to get the guardianship of their child in special circumstances. On the other hand, the person with disability of the above mentioned categories might not be able to manage their personal requirements or take decisions for their betterment. In absence of continued and varied exposure to the society through early adulthood, the capacity of informed decision making may be somewhat underdeveloped. Therefore they require legal guardianship. The National Trust Act for the first time enables the person with above disabilities to have a guardian representing her/ him throughout their life.

The parent can get legal guardianship of their son or daughter with disability and represent them even after they are 18 years of age.

NATURE OF GUARDIANSHIP

The National Trust Act has the provision for two kinds of guardianship. They are:

  1. Guardian for the person
  2. Guardian for the person and property.

It is important to note that mental retardation can be an associated condition with Cerebral Palsy, Autism and other multiple disabilities. Persons with Cerebral Palsy, Autism and other multiple disabilities who have mental retardation will need legal guardians to represent them both for their person as well as their property.

Guardianship for person as well as property:

However, there are persons with these disabilities who do not have Mental Disability. Such a person may perhaps require only a guardian for their person.

WHY SHOULD A PARENT GET LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP OF THEIR CHILD?

Most parents do take the full responsibility of their children. They are assuming the responsibility for the care and protection of their child with disability even after the child has turned 18. Many persons with cerebral Palsy, mental retardation, Autism and multiple disabilities do require active care taking throughout their lives. In a country such as ours, it is the parents and the family that have been the major care-taking unit.

Then, what are the reasons that they should take legal guardianship?
Some of the reasons are;

Although, parents may take the full responsibility of looking after their child, even after the child is 18 years of age, they will need to legally represent their child as his or her guardian in many situations.

1. Guardianship may be needed for loans and concessions

They may want to apply for a concession or scheme meant for persons with disability. They may need to show that they are the legal guardians of their child.

For example, the National Handicapped Finance Development Cooperation has introduced an income generations scheme for the benefit of persons with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism and multiple disabilities. Since a large number of these persons may be unable to legally access this scheme on their own, the scheme can be accessed by parents. Parents would however need to have legal guardianship of their child.

2. Guardianship may be needed for managing investments

Parents may want to make investments and manage them for the benefit of their son or daughter with disability.

For example, during one workshop a parent shared that they had bought property in the name of their child with mental disability. By doing this they had hoped that this investment would be used to look after their son with a disability when they could no longer do so. When their son turned 18, the property that was in his name, could not be legally managed by him. Under the earlier laws, the parents were no longer the legal guardians of their son and therefore could not manage the property on his behalf. This meant that they could not undertake actions such as renting the property. Under the NTA, parents can now remain guardians of their child even after he/she is over 18 years of age. They can then manage the property on his behalf. The property can be invested and it can remain in the name of the person with disability. This can be seen as one step in ensuring that the investment is actually used for the benefit of the person with mental disability.

For opening and operating bank accounts in the child's name the parents would need to have the guardianship of their child.

Saurav is 16 year old child with Autism. His mother has opened a bank account in his name. Saurav feels very happy about the fact that there is a bank account in his name and that the money belongs to him.

However, when Saurav turns 18 his mother will not have the legal authority to operate the account since she will no longer be his legal guardian. She would need to get the legal guardianship of her child in order to operate the account

3. To safeguard the interests of your child

If for any reason, the person with disability gets involved in any criminal activity, or for some reason goes to jail, he will need a legal guardian to act on his behalf.

4. What will happen after me?

The major worry that parents have is " what will happen to my child after me?" Knowing that other persons can also be guardians of their child can in some way alleviate this worry. Under the N T A there are also provisions for monitoring of guardians. Parents also need to be aware that they can open trusts for their child.

WHO ELSE CAN ASK FOR APPOINTMENT OF A GUARDIAN AND BE APPOINTED A GUARDIAN

Under the National Trust Act, apart from parents, relatives and registered organisations can take the initiative to have a guardian appointed for a person with disability.

Parents would be the first choice for assuming guardianship of their child.

It is important to note that either parent can assume the guardianship of their child. Either the mother or the father can assume guardianship of the child. However it is always better to have joint guardianship.

In situations where parents are unable to look after their child, are physically incapacitated due to ill health etc they can nominate some other person to assume the guardianship of their child.

Relatives seeking guardianship

Incase parents are not there, or die suddenly and the child does not have a guardian, a relative can either seek guardianship himself/herself or ask the local level committee to appoint a guardian for the child.
A relative could include - a sibling, grand parents, maternal and paternal uncles and aunts.

Organizations seeking guardianship

In case there is a child with disability who is found abandoned, a registered organization could move an application stating that a guardian should be appointed for the person.

A registered organization can also become the guardian. The local level committee can also ask a registered organization to take on guardianship of a destitute or abandoned person with disability.

This registered organization could be:

  1. A non-government organization working in the area of disability
  2. A registered parents association
  3. An organization of persons with disability.

For the purpose of the act a 'registered organization' is one, which is registered with the National Trust. This means that all parent associations, organizations of persons with disability, and non-government organizations working with persons with disability have to register with the Trust if they want to obtain any benefits from the Trust.
Please see attached form

In the case of an institution or organization being considered for appointments as a guardian the following guidelines would need to be followed:

? The institution should be recognized by the state or the central government.

? It should have a minimum of 2 years experience in offering disability rehabilitation services including running residential facilities or hostel to the respective category of persons with disability.

? The residential facility or hostel for persons with disabilities shall maintain minimum standards in terms of space, staff, furniture, rehabilitation and medical facilities as specified by the Board.

PROCEDURE FOR GETTING GUARDIANSHIP

A parent or relatives would need to move an application [Form-A] to the Local Level Committee asking for appointment of a Guardian.

The Form-A has details regarding the:

  1. Person with disability (Name; age; nature of disability ;Address)
  2. The proposed Guardian (Name; age; relationship with the ward, if any; Address)
  3. Nature of Guardianship required i.e., whether it is for:
  1. The Person
  2. The Person and Property

The other requirements are:

  1. A disability certificate needs to be attached
  2. The form has to be signed by 2 witnesses
  3. Consent of the person proposed to be appointed the Guardian and the consent of the Natural Guardian
    ( i.e. the parents, if there) needs to be there.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 15:54