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Planning for the Future of Your Child with a Disability

Planning for the Future of Your Child with a Disability


Life can be complicated when caring for a child or family member with a disability. Imagine what would happen to that loved one if you were no longer there to provide financial, emotional, and physical support. What would they do?


The answer to that question can manifest itself in a comprehensive estate plan that maps out exactly what would happen in the event of your disability, incapacity, or death.


Since life is uncertain, you can and should create this plan now.

  • Begin by gathering your important information: banking, financial investments, insurance, health records, important names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, social security accounts, Medicaid accounts, deeds to automobiles and home, doctor and dental names and phone numbers, educational information, divorce agreement, existing estate documents (wills, trusts, advance care directives, powers of attorney, guardianship or conservatorship).


  • Make a list of the important questions:


  • Who? Who will act as guardian of your child if you cannot do so? Who would you like to administer a trust for your child? With whom would you like your child to live?


  • What? What steps do you want the guardian to take to ensure your child’s safety and welfare? Think globally: education, skill-building, doctor and dental visits, social life, recreation, exercise, nutrition, friends, family, and leisure time.


  • When? What timing do you want to insert into your estate plan? For example, at what point, if any, can and should the guardian give more responsibility or freedom to your child? When should the guardian change schools or other programming?


  • Where? Where do you want your child to live, to attend a school or program, to attend worship services, to do other activities?


  • Why? Explain your reasoning to your attorney and make sure the proposed guardian understands the purposes which underlie your decisions. That way, if circumstances change in an unexpected way, the guardian will be more likely to execute the plan in a way that fits your thinking and intentions.


  • How? Ensure you include all the ways you want the guardian to execute your estate plan and your child’s guardianship.


  • Answer all those questions comprehensively.


  • Now you’re ready to visit your Estates and Trusts attorney.


Don’t have guardianship? Need an Estates and Trusts attorney? Merely have some questions and need answers?


Make it easy on yourself and call a professional Estates & Trusts Attorney at 609-409-3500.