In Minnesota, young adults are granted certain legal rights — such as the right to vote, marry, obtain a credit card, consent to medical treatments, make living arrangements and sign contracts — at age 18. In addition, all educational rights provided to parents or guardians transfer to the youth at age 18. Youth with an IEP and their parents or guardians will receive notices regarding this transfer of rights at least one year in advance.
At age 18, youth are considered competent to make decisions for themselves. Ideally, youth with disabilities receive preparation, opportunities and supports to develop decision making skills over the course of a lifetime. If extra support is needed for decision making as an adult, supported decision making provides an alternative to court-based guardianship. Supported decision making is a person-centered approach that recognizes that everyone, including people with disabilities, needs at least occasional help to make decisions. Supported decision making empowers people to make decisions with the support of trusted family, friends and professionals.