If you have a child with special needs who requires care and will require care for the rest of his or her life, then you have a need for special needs planning. Putting a plan in place is essential to ensuring that your child has the right care when the time comes that you cannot do it yourself.
The Special Needs Alliance explains that you should begin special needs planning as soon as possible since you never know what the future may hold. It is really the only way to protect your child if something happens to you.
Starting at the right age
Many families will wait to begin special needs planning until their child gets closer to the age of 18. At this time, they can begin to get the legal documents in place to manage and maintain guardianship over the child once he or she reaches adulthood in the legal sense.
You may find that it is better to begin planning earlier. It often depends on your specific situation. Many times, young and healthy parents will wait, but older parents will begin planning early in their child’s life just in case the unexpected happens.
Another thing that will largely depend on the specifics of your situation is how to balance independence with care. You want to let your child be as independent as possible while also keeping him or her safe.
To do this, you may need to consider various legal options. For example, you may choose to have a power of attorney instead of seeking guardianship. It really depends on what is best for your child.
Securing financial plans
Part of special needs planning is getting the financial details in place. You may need to apply for benefit programs or set up certain financial arrangements. You also need to consider employment if your child is able to work.
You want to use special needs planning to create a path so that your child has the support he or she needs moving forward even if you are not there to provide it.