Finding out that your child has Autism Spectrum disorder can be overwhelming. While finally having a diagnosis, which aligns with his or her behaviors and mannerisms, can answer many questions, it can also create uncertainty about the future. Once you know your child will need disability support for life, it’s vital to start getting ready as soon as possible. Here is how to prepare when your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Take a Breath and Find Support
Managing your child’s symptoms, and advocating for his or her care and education, is a full-time job which can exhaust any parent. When you are just beginning to learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) connecting with others in the same situation can be extremely helpful. Organization’s such as California Autism Foundation and Autism Speaks have numerous available resources for families and offer forums where parents can connect with and learn from others in the same situation.
With all that you and your family have going on, estate planning may be the last thing on your mind. This can be especially true when your child is young, and you expect to be around for them for many years to come. However, it’s essential to prepare for your estate sooner rather than later. Although you may be healthy now, accidents and unexpected illness are always a possibility. While the death of a parent can devastate any child, for a child with Autism, the loss can be completely traumatizing and have life-long repercussions. Without the right measures in place, your child’s immediate comfort, permanent custody, care, and financial future will be undecided when you die. Additionally, if you don’t properly direct your estate through a trust or will, your child could inherit from you and end up losing their Medi-Cal and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. It is critical that you consult with an experienced attorney about these issues. By meeting with a California estate planning attorney today, you can get the advice you need to build a comprehensive estate plan for your child’s future.
California Special Needs Trusts
Many parents will tell you that having a California special needs trust for your child with ASD is non-negotiable. This unique legal device allows parents and other loved ones to put assets and funds in a trust to supplement a disabled individual’s income to pay for their extra expenses. When used correctly, the trust payments do not count as income to the beneficiary and will not endanger his or her eligibility to receive income-sensitive government benefits such as Medi-Cal and SSI. Contrary to popular misconceptions, parents do not have to have excessive personal wealth to devise this type of trust. However, there can be financial consequences if the trust is misused or improperly created. The best way to ensure your trust is formed in accordance with state and federal law and in the most beneficial manner is to consult with a California special needs trust attorney.
By preparing now for your child’s future, you can remove uncertainty, ensure their care is in the right person’s hands, and safeguard their financial interests and emotional well-being. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are estate planning and special needs trust attorneys with the experience you need to create the right life plan for your child with ASD. Please contact us online or by phone to discuss your concerns. /