Health & Medical Adolescent Health

Advocacy Vs Guardianship Overcoming the Confusion for Your Special Needs Child

What is the right choice? When your child is about to turn 18 most parents are thinking about college, what they will do for work, moving out, getting their first apartment, and all the choices they have rolling around in their brain.
The truth is when your child turns 18 they are now legally independent; while that thought is scary for a parent it can be downright terrifying for a parent of a special needs child.
Most special needs children are still in the school system after they're 18th birthday by the parents direction; however if the child doesn't want to go that's the end of that.
When your 18 year old child needs to go to a medical, mental health, or dental professional they no longer have to include you in the discussion for treatment or consent.
Your child is now responsible for paying their own bills and may purchase whatever someone will sell them, all without your consent, guidance, or approval.
We all come to the crossroads of deciding if we should become their Guardian or their Guardian Advocate.
These choices are not taken lightly as they have such a lifelong effect.
We now have to get our child's life in order so they can safely crossover into adulthood with our help.
The choices are made with great care to not only protect them but to give them the balance of having the greatest independence possible.
The Guardian The Guardian is the easiest choice since you are simply taking away all their rights and you will control and make decisions for them for the rest of their life, just like when they were underage.
An attorney will help you put this together.
The Guardian Advocate The Guardian Advocate has more choices as to control and it can be done without an attorney, if the person doesn't have assets other than social security benefits.
If you can do your own taxes chances are you can do the needed paperwork for the filing.
Having an attorney is a great benefit, they will help with the forms and guide you along the way; however if money is tight then you can do it on your own.
There's a great article I came across from The Law Office of Nancy E.
Wright website, who details all the options associated with deciding the level of assistance your child will need.
As we were deciding which direction to take for our son we wanted to be sure that we gave him as much independence as possible while allowing us to be involved in his health and well-being.
It may seem odd to have a Will prepared at this age, but you might as well get it out of the way.
Using an Attorney While you are at the attorney's office your child will need a Special Needs Trust.
The reason for this is twofold, 1.
To protect the financial interests of the child and 2.
To allow the child to retain their government benefits.
Many people misunderstand the simple use of this Trust; once you have the Trust paperwork you go directly to the bank and establish a bank account under Trust name and when their bank balance gets close to the magical $2,000, you move money over to their trust.
You don't have to spend every dime that they get and leave them penniless.
Check out Nancy's website for many other resources.

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