Like many of you who may be reading this blog, I have experienced the trauma of having a child diagnosed within the Autism Spectrum. This blog is not limited to those who have children within the Autism Spectrum, as the advice I am providing is also applicable to other types of diagnoses which might render your child a special needs child. Eventually your child will grow older and will most likely outlive you. The purpose of this blog is to discuss things that you should do to help provide the care for and maintenance of your child during your lifetime, and thereafter. Although you are technically the guardian of your child, eventually your child will reach eighteen years of age, which would legally render them an adult. Once this age has been attained, it makes sense for you to seek a guardianship arrangement or similar arrangement established by the Court. This arrangement would allow you to make legal decisions on behalf of your child without the possibility of being contested by any other person or entity. It will also enable you to undertake numerous other actions on behalf of your child and makes it vastly simpler to accomplish these actions once you are appointed legal guardian by the Court. The process is not complex and has many benefits once a Court sanctioned guardianship status is obtained. What this process entails will be explored in a later blog. For the purpose of this blog, however, it is strongly suggested that this is the first step that a parent take in providing for the future care of their special needs child.
Another important consideration is to prepare a detailed plan for the care of your child after you pass away. This is accomplished by obtaining detailed estate planning and succession planning when you are no longer there to take care of your child. Part of this process may entail appointing a successor Guardian, establishing a Trust to provide for the maintenance and care for your child, arranging for future living arrangements for your child and providing for any other specific type of care which your child may require. It is extremely important that these issues be addressed and memorialized in a clear plan that all parties can understand. In the absence of these formal documents, disputes may arise as to the maintenance and care of your child after you are gone. A well executed plan by a competent attorney will ensure that your child thrives even though you may no longer be there to provide the excellent maintenance and care your child was accustomed to. Once again, this issue will be explored in greater detail in the future. At this juncture, however, it is suggested that should you wish to commence the process that you consult with a capable attorney such as an attorney from Stark & Stark.