Any parent naturally wonders what will happen to their child once they are no longer able to provide their care, financial support, advocacy, and oversight. This is especially true for parents of children with disabilities.
These parents must make a plan for what their child’s life would look like in the event that tragedy strikes and they are no longer able to care for the child, and it’s important to start this process as soon as possible to secure their future.
Creating a special needs plan includes…
- Setting up legal authority, such as guardianship (or possibly powers of attorney)
- Securing public benefits – SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), etc.
- Working with adult services agencies and setting up supports
- Planning elements of adult living – Where and with whom will your child live, who will have authority to advocate for your child, teaching and learning independent living skills, exploring employment opportunities, etc.
- Special needs trusts and providing the child with adequate financial resources for their lifetime
Depending on each child’s specific needs, this planning process can be excruciatingly complicated for parents and caregivers to navigate on their own.
Where Do You Begin?
Consulting a special needs attorney is a great place to begin, as they can provide a framework for comprehensive planning and make recommendations based on your child’s specific needs and capabilities.
For example, a special needs attorney will be able to:
- Determine whether or not you should establish a power of attorney, health care proxy, or guardianship
- Explain the ins and outs of public programs and benefits
- Help you make decisions about whether or not your child will be able to work, where they will live, how much independence they will be able to maintain, etc.
- Explain how to use a special needs trust or ABLE account to pay expenses without compromising government program eligibility
- Help you determine how to accumulate the assets necessary to support your child throughout his or her life
- Help you choose the right trustee, trust protector, guardian, etc.
- + more
Are you a Massachusetts resident looking to create a special needs plan for your child?
Special Needs Law Group of Massachusetts offers unique counseling from the perspective of specialized attorneys who have navigated the “system” for not only clients but for their own special needs children as well.
Contact our firm today for more information and assistance.