The article explores the financial challenges faced by many parents of special needs children. April J. Lisbon, an autism coach strategist and the parent of a child with autism and dyslexia, tells the story of the financial and emotional challenges she faces as the parent of a special needs child.
“I was only ready to accept [his autism] educationally and not as part of his lived experience,” Ms. Libson told HavenLife.
Ms. Sverdlov explains to HavenLife the myriad of legal tools and options available to parents of special needs children.
“As soon as the child turns 18 years of age, he is considered to be a full adult capable of making decisions, regardless of mental capacity,” Sverdlov explains. “If the parent knows that the child cannot make his own decisions, the parent needs to apply for a guardianship order through the court. This will enable the parent to continue making decisions for the child past the age of maturity.” This process can cost thousands of dollars, so you may need to begin budgeting for it earlier than you’d anticipated.
It’s also important to think about how to provide for your child after you pass on. One option is to set up a special needs trust. “Special needs trusts ensure that there is money available for the daily needs of the special needs child, while simultaneously not jeopardizing the child’s government benefits (Medicaid, SSI, etc.),” Sverdlov explained. This type of trust can potentially save a parent hundreds of thousands of dollars, she said.
Katya Sverdlov, Esq., CFA® serves as Of Counsel to the Law Firm of Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. The firm routinely handles guardianship matters, special needs law, estate planning, and Medicaid.