Shocking! Very Few Parents Have Planned Ahead to Protect Their Child with Disabilities

Planning for your Child with Disabilities

I read something recently that I found shocking. A study set to be published next month in the Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities reports that only 3.6% of parents surveyed who have children with intellectual and developmental disabilities have established legal guardianship, done Estate Planning (such as a Special Needs Trust) or have a plan for housing for their child in the event the child outlives them.

Thanks to improvements in healthcare, more and more individuals with disabilities are outliving their parents. So, why aren’t parents taking steps to avoid a crisis situation regarding their child’s future? Sixty-one percent of the parents who hadn’t planned indicated that cost, lack of time and stress are the primary barriers to planning.

Believe me, I understand that.

Oftentimes parents are consumed with day-to-day activities for their child and there are just so many hours in the day. The thing is, I’ve seen the other side of the situation far too many times. When the parents of disabled individuals pass, there is often chaos and confusion. This happens even if there is a sibling willing to step in and take over care of their brother and sister. Without the proper legal documentation in place, there can be a period of turmoil while the court process takes place.

One other interesting fact from the study was that 39% of respondents reported a lack of information as a barrier to future planning. Again, this is understandable. While there are reputable sources to be found online, there is a lot of confusion about special needs planning.

If you are reading this blog and searching for reliable information about planning for your child with disabilities, you are in the right place. Special needs planning is one of my key practice areas and I have a particular passion around educating the public. If you’d like assistance, simply call our office at (571) 328-5795 and schedule an appointment..  We’d be happy to answer your questions and help you map out a plan that ensures your child will be protected through all of life’s transitions.