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Life Planning

Planning for the financial security of a child with special needs is of critical importance for families. It is strongly suggested that families consult a financial planner or attorney familiar in setting up trusts involving individuals with disability since planning for such individuals includes not only minimizing estate taxes, probate costs, and costs associated with transferring assets but also the need to preserve eligibility for government programs and determine quality lifetime care. Many states allow for Special Needs Trusts and Pooled or Community Trusts that allow accrued assets to be spent for the benefit of the individual with disability without that individual loosing Medicaid or SSI benefits. In fact, a trust such as these may be the only way to allow for the individual with disability to have the finances to live above the basic needs of food, shelter, and healthcare provided by government programs while still being able to be eligible for the support of these programs. Other issues involved in life planning include writing a letter of intent to determine future living situations and guardians in the event of parental death or incapacitation and obtaining guardianship at age 18 if necessary.

Resources

Information & Support

For Professionals

National Guardianship Association
The website is an excellent source of information on the rights and responsibilities of the incapacitated individual, as well as the guardian. The site also has resources and provides educational training and network opportunities for guardians.

For Parents and Patients

MetDesk
Metdesk is a public service of MetLife, a leading provider of insurance and financial products and services. It offers basic information on the website and specialists to help families with children or other dependents with special needs who need guidance planning for the child's future. An individual can identify a local MetDesk specialist by calling 1-877-Metdesk or through the website.

National Guardianship Association
The website is an excellent source of information on the rights and responsibilities of the incapacitated individual, as well as the guardian. The site also has resources and provides educational training and network opportunities for guardians.

EP Magazine (Exceptional Parent)
A monthly publication that provides practical advice, emotional support, and up-to-date educational information for people with disabilities.

Services

Guardianship

See all Guardianship services providers (9) in our database.

For other services related to this condition, browse our Services categories or search our database.

Authors

Reviewing Author: Lynne M Kerr, MD, PhD - 10/2008
Content Last Updated: 6/2011