Preparing for a Special Needs Child Reaching Adulthood
For most families, the shift from childhood to adulthood is bittersweet. For parents of a child with special needs, this rite of passage can be downright scary. Your child has not outgrown his or her need for your care and guidance, but when they reach the “age of majority” (adulthood), you will not have legal standing to do many of the things you have done before.
- You cannot handle money for them
- You cannot sign contracts for them, such as leases or school enrollment
- You cannot talk to medical providers about their care or see their medical records
It’s vitally important that before your special needs child reaches adulthood, you talk to a lawyer about the kind of assistance your child will need. Draw up the right legal documents now to ensure continuity of care and services for their future.
Fort Worth special needs lawyer Tawana H. Gray has worked with many families with special needs children and disabled adults. You can turn to her for knowledgeable legal advice on complex issues like the long-term care of a loved one.
Planning for Special Needs Children Turning 18
Planning for your special needs child is not a one-size-fits-all program. Even if your child has independent living skills, he or she may still need help paying for services or medical care.
A Power of Attorney and HIPPA medical forms may be sufficient for some families. However, if your child will not be able to manage their own affairs, legal guardianship of the person and of the estate may be required. This allows you to make all important decisions, including living arrangements and medical care. Applying for guardianship within six months of your child’s eighteenth birthday is advisable.
Of course, the future isn’t always clear. You may not know how well your child will do and it may take them some time to find their feet. Preparing for the worst while working for the best may be a good strategy.
Special Needs Trusts
Medical and independent-living services can be costly, especially for a young adult who may face challenging employment prospects. A Special Needs Trust for disabled or incapacitated adults can provide invaluable security and peace of mind.
Even if your loved one qualifies for Medicaid or Medicare, there will be services that aren’t fully covered. A Special Needs Trust may be able to pick up these costs. Money held in the Trust will not be counted against your child when determining eligibility for Medicaid and other public benefits.
The Law Office of Tawana H. Gray, PLLC, can help you set up a Special Needs Trust for your disabled child, special needs adult child, or vulnerable adult family member.
Talk to a Special Needs Lawyer
To ensure that your loved ones are properly cared for, turn to the Law Office of Tawana H. Gray, PLLC, for assistance establishing a Special Needs Trust, preparing a Power of Attorney or establishing legal Guardianship. To schedule an initial consultation, call 817-270-9975 or contact us online.