Planning Ahead for the Special Needs Child

 Being the parent of a child with special needs requires careful planning and consideration of the child’s future. It’s important to know many children with special needs often live full lifespans. Knowing that you are likely to precede your child in death is a good opportunity to plan ahead and set up a structure to help support them well into the future.

One way that parents can do this is by being an advocate for the child’s education. This is a mandated right until age 21. As a parent you have the opportunity to help secure and monitor all available services with regard to education for your child. In addition to focusing on all educational opportunities available for your child, make sure that you create a life care plan that addresses housing, financial and medical needs. One way to do this is through the creation of a special needs trust.

Additionally, you may want to consider the possibility of appointing a guardian to help the child manage assets within a trust or other structure. If the child’s capabilities permit it, the child could also be involved in authorizing an agent to assist with the process of planning for a financial future. If necessary, life insurance can be a good supplement to help you. Finally, create a letter of intent that conveys all of your aspirations for the child so that a future guardian or healthcare assistant can understand your perspective.

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