Planning For Your Special Needs Child’s Future

 
 
I try not to look too far ahead and simply try to enjoy life in the moment. I said, try. I’m a planner which means I need like to know what’s going to happen next; and if I can control what that is, even better. FYI — I know what we’re having for dinner every night for the next three months.
 
When it comes to my children, I have to remind myself to stop obsessively looking forward.
 
However there are a few things that MUST be arranged in advance. Though I plan to be around for a long time to care for my family, even I, the master of control, can’t control that. So as morbid as it seems, we recently updated our wills and named our children’s guardians and Powers of Attorney.
 
We also have a document listing all accounts, assets, debts, passwords, and any other crucial information
family members would need in the case of, you know, our demise.
 
Also we’re in the process of setting up an RESP for our son {something we should have done years ago!). He’ll need it to help with law and medical school. After that, he’s on his own. I’m sure his doctor/lawyer salary will be enough to get by on; in addition to the income from his critically acclaimed movie roles and the benefits from his various Nobel prizes and inventions. What?
 
So with those details in place, I can relax and just enjoy my kids, right? Not so fast.
 
My daughter puts a kink in that plan. She has developmental delays and will always require some level of care. We don’t want the burden to fall upon her brother’s shoulders so a few extra provisions must be made.
 
We have a binder {which needs to be updated now that I think about it} containing our daughter’s medical records, medications (doses/schedule), doctor, dentist and therapist information, her likes and dislikes, strengths and challenges, education related information, and daily schedule. That way in case of, what I mentioned before – I’ve knocked wood about a dozen times writing this – the people taking care of our girl have this “Life Plan” and will thus be in a better position to fully understand her needs.
 
Here’s where it gets complicated… and where I wish my son would hurry up and finish law school already (after the fourth grade of course) and help his poor legalese challenged mother out!
 
When my husband and I are no longer around to provide for our daughter financially, she’ll need funds to sustain a good quality of life. Our lawyer got the ball rolling, but since then my husband and I have been floundering, trying to figure most of this out on our own.
 

I could try to explain RDSPs and The Henson Trust and everything else involved in developing a “Special Needs Plan” but I’ll leave that to the experts. If you have a child with a physical or mental disability, www.specialneedsplanning.ca is a great resource with all of the information you will need to start developing a plan. Once you have that plan, update it as needs and situations change. Then, relax and live, and love your children like crazy. 

 

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  • I am Graeme Treeby, the founder of the Special Needs Planning Group. Thanks for your kind words regarding my web site. Better than trying to create your plans alone would be to contact me for a personal no cost meeting where I can guide you through the process. Please check out my website and contact me if you have any questions.

    Cheers…Graeme

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