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The Plan Parents Create Today Delivers Peace of Mind Tomorrow

As parents we believe we will live forever and always be there for our children. This is especially important for parents who have a child with a developmental disability. I would like to share a few tips for you to think about:

1. Guardian Advocate: When the child reaches age 18 they are legally an adult even if they cannot make their own financial or, medical decisions. This means the parents will not be allowed to make that adult child’s decisions for them.  A Guardian Advocate proceeding is a simple court process to have a family member appointed to help guide and advocate for the person with the developmental disability.  No legal rights are removed.  A ‘developmental disability’ includes: down syndrome, retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida and Prader-Willi syndrome.  Please call me one month before your child’s 18th birthday to begin the advocate process.

2. Government Benefits:  As a minor your child may not have qualified for government benefits such as Medicaid or SSI because of the parents’ income and resources. At age 18 the adult child can apply for benefits and the government will no longer look at the parents’ income and resources.  Please call me one month before your child’s 18th birthday to begin the planning process.

3. Parents’ Estate Planning: Parents should have a legal plan that provides an inheritance to the child with the developmental disability in the form of a special needs trust.  The special needs trust will not be counted as a resource by the government agencies, and can be administered without court intervention. It should also include a Durable Power of Attorney and Designation of Health Care Surrogate so that a guardianship is not needed if the parent becomes Incapacitated. Call me today and I will create a legal plan tailored to achieve your goals.

Let us educate and support you, your friends and family so that together we can co-create solutions for your family’s well-being.

Law Office of Stephanie L. Schneider, P.A.
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