Once a child becomes 18, he is an adult in the eyes of the law. If your child has special needs that interfere with his ability to make some or all of his life decisions, you can ask a court to let you make them for him. Attorney Harvey often assists families in getting a parent or other trusted adult appointed as guardian or conservator to make only those decisions, whether medical or financial, that the soon-to-be adult cannot make without help. She will collaborate with your child’s doctor and team at school to determine which decisions he can make on his own and which he cannot, based on his unique capabilities.
Because your child has special needs, you will also need a specially tailored estate plan that will provide funds for your child without giving up important public benefits and will, ideally, ensure that there is enough money to meet his needs as he gets older. You may consider establishing a Supplemental Needs Trust for your child’s benefit so that you can supplement any governmental benefits that he may receive in order to provide for his needs that those benefits do not provide.
You will also want to consider who you will nominate to take over his care and help him make his important life decisions after you are no longer able to do so. As the parent of a son with special needs, Attorney Harvey is especially sensitive to the needs of a family like yours.