Parenting a child with special needs is a unique relationship built on unconditional love
and support. It also comes with additional planning obligations. As the parent of a child with special needs, you face many of the same challenges that any parent faces. But you'll also have to cope with some unique financial, medical, educational, and legal issues as well.
In working with and speaking to parents of children with special needs, I have found that one of the greatest fears they have is the possibility that they will die without having arranged for the care of their child. In my experience, parents and caregivers will have to plan for the day when they will not be not around to provide assistance and oversight for their children. For these families, the failure to properly plan can cause tremendous hardship for the person with the need at precisely the time when they need help the most: when the primary source of support, often a family member or close friend, is no longer available for companionship, assistance, and help.
Without a doubt, the type and level of assistance that will be needed will vary according to the nature of the need, which includes the age of the child (or adult) and family circumstances, as well as other factors. For example, parents of a minor with a severe developmental issue are often most concerned with identifying a guardian who is willing to undertake the task of caring for a special needs child. On the other hand, many individuals with disabilities live very independent lives, and need nothing more than some basic assistance in their day to day affairs.
While there is no cookie cutter solution and because each child’s circumstances are unique, it’s critical to work with an Advisor who is well versed in helping families of children with special needs and who can create a plan for your child.
Stay tuned to my future blog articles where I will discuss topics focused on helping families of children with special needs including, but not limited to: Retaining Guardianship, Qualification for Government Benefits, Establishing Special Needs Trusts, Planning for Post-Education Life and Services, Preparing Future Care Documents, Coordinating Family Assets.
Kevin Pent, ChSNC® Chartered Special Needs Consultant® can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org