Home & FamilyParentingFocusing Only on Today Is NOT Enough by Wendy Goldband, MSW

Focusing Only on Today Is NOT Enough by Wendy Goldband, MSW

For families of special needs children merely getting through the day can be a challenge. There’s so much to deal with – diagnoses, treatment, therapy, schooling, socialization, finding the right programs and professionals… All this and then actually getting through your daily schedule can leave you gasping for air. Despite that fact, you cannot put off the creation of a Future plan for your special needs child. Procrastination can be a devastating mistake.

What happens if you and/or your spouse are injured, disabled, or even meet an untimely death? Who will take over all those daily tasks? How will they know what to do? Where will the money come from to support your child in the manner in which you desire? Even if your family stays in tact till your child turns 18, these same questions still need to be answered. Once a legal adult, eligibility for benefits will be impacted by his or her financial situation. A proper plan today can ensure no benefits are lost and that there are still enough funds and provisions for your adult child to afford a comfortable lifestyle.

It’s critical that you make the time to meet both with an attorney experienced in creating special needs trusts and an advisor who understands the funding of them. That advisor should also be familiar with the other monetary considerations special needs families have. Arranging a team meeting with all your advisors together is ideal.

A few things you can do before you even meet with your advisors:

1. Consider who you might like to be appointed your child’s guardian if you are no longer alive. A guardian generally refers to the person with legal rights to make day-to-day decisions for your child.
2. Consider at least one person you’d like appointed as the trustee. The trustee would have control over how the financial assets are used.
3. Think about who would be your conservator. The conservator is in charge of financial management of those assets.

Last, I urge you to start filling out a Letter of Intent. This is like a personal journal of everything you’d like your babysitter, parents and other potential caregivers to know about the fine details of your child’s daily life. After all, it’s hard enough for you to keep on top of each day — can you imagine a stranger stepping in? You’ll want to record an A to Z list that includes everything from diagnosis and doctors to food preferences and favorite objects. Information like this will go a long way in aiding anyone else helping with care in either an emergency or non-emergency situation.

Make that appointment with your attorney and advisor today! You’ve got to have a plan and you’ve got to have it written down! If everyone works as a team, you can rest knowing your child’s future is secure.

If you have a specific question about your situation or would like more information give me a call at 443-756-9281. You can also reach me by email at wgoldband@gmail.com.

wgoldbandWendy Goldband, MSW, is a Registered Representative and Insurance Producer with an expertise in special needs and long term care planning. She is the former Long Term Care Senior Marketing Manager for Crump Insurance Services, the largest life insurance brokerage in the nation. Author of Breaking Autism’s Barriers and Dangerous Encounters:Avoiding Perilous Situations with Autism, she believes in both the physical and financial safety of your special needs child.

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