When you are raising a child with autism keeping up with their daily needs and the other demands of life can leave little room to think about the future. However, when you know your child is going to need care into adulthood, it’s essential to consider making plans for them sooner rather than later. By preparing for your child with autism now, you can help make certain his or her needs are met and avoid leaving them and other members of your family in an uncertain position.
With all of your day-to-day responsibilities, it may be overwhelming to contemplate your child’s long-term care needs. However, the time to start is now. While it may seem that you have years to prepare, the sad truth is that catastrophic illness and accidents can occur at any time. If something happens to you or the other parent, your child’s future care could be uncertain. Without measures in place, your other children and relatives may have to confront serious issues which could have been avoided by planning.
In many cases, families believe that if they are not wealthy, they cannot afford to make long-term plans for their autistic child’s needs. One common misconception is that the only way to fund special needs trust is with a great deal of money. Even without a large estate, there are ways to arrange funding for this kind of vital resource and support your child. An experienced California special needs planning attorney can help you explore your options and make the right preparations for the future.
If you expect that your child’s condition will keep them from being able to support themselves, then there is a strong possibility he or she will need Medi-Cal for medical care and Social Security Income (SSI) to pay for basic expenses. Without supplemental planning, these benefits are not likely to be adequate to meet your child’s needs as they age. Additionally, if you and the child’s other parent pass away leaving your estate to them, he or she could be disqualified from receiving benefits because their inheritance will count as “income.” Further, when an adult is not capable of caring for themselves or handling their own finances, absent other arrangements, the State of California will have to appoint a conservator to make choices on their behalf.
Knowing you need to start planning is one thing, but figuring out where to begin can be daunting. Especially if you have never consulted with anyone about this issue. Meeting with an experienced California special needs planning attorney is an excellent way to find out more about your options. Additionally, your attorney will be able to set up any appropriate legal devices in accordance with California law.
Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we have experience helping families with autistic children in preparing for their needs today and in the future. Please contact us online or by phone to schedule an appointment and start working towards a solution.