Do you have a child with Down syndrome? We know that as a parent of a child with Down syndrome you have many roles, such as caregiver, advocate, decision maker, champion, friend and fiduciary. What would happen should a time arise when you are no longer here? What would happen to your child? Who would take care of him or her? Would they be able to act as you would?
Thinking about a future where you would not be here for your child with Down syndrome is probably not something you want to think about. For most everyone, thinking about a time when we might be incapacitated, disabled, or even pass away is not enjoyable. That being said, though, for the parent of a child with special needs, a future that does not include him or her can be terrifying.
Is there anything you can do? Yes! This is where estate planning with an emphasis on special needs can help. We recommend you work with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney with expertise in this area. Your attorney will be able to guide you through the estate planning tools available to provide for both you and your child with Down syndrome. Your Florida estate planning attorney has special training in this area to ensure that she is able to confidently advise you of what to plan for now as well as years in the future.
For special needs planning success we would like to share some tips for you to use when you meet with your estate planning attorney. Items your attorney is going to discuss with you as you develop a plan for your child together include:
• You need to let your attorney know all the family and friends who help you care for your child.
• Let your child’s interests be known.
• Be sure everyone knows the level at which your child is able to make his or her own decisions.
• Make a list of your child’s doctors and specialists.
• Make a list of all medications.
• Be sure that all future caregivers know about any emotional triggers.
• List all the government benefits your child is receiving.
• Inform everyone of your child’s level of education.
• Make everyone aware of any more family members to be planned for.
These are just a few tips that will need to be addressed as you begin to plan your estate with your estate planning and special needs planning attorney. In addition, to best prepare for this meeting and planning process together, we encourage you to make a list of questions that you would like to have answered.
We know this is a challenging time and want to be able to support you. The experienced team of attorneys here at Hemness Faller, The Law Office formerly known as Emma Hemness, P.A., are here for you and your family and we want to be YOUR estate planning and elder law attorneys. After all, we are ordinary people, providing extraordinary guidance backed by years of experience and advocacy for the vulnerable citizens in our community. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.