Providing for Adult Children with Disabilities

financial assistance disabled adults
Thanks to incredible advances in medicine and technology, children with many types of developmental disabilities can expect to live a long, full life. But this improved life expectancy comes with a new set of questions, concerns, and considerations for parents.
Alabama Family Trust knows several ways to provide for your disabled adult child and make sure they’re taken care of in the future, so let’s take a look at some of them.

Plan Early for Your Child’s Adult Life

According to United States law, anyone over the age of 18 is considered an emancipated adult (although the age of majority is 19 in Alabama) — regardless of whether they have a disability. This means that when your child becomes an “adult,” you as their parent are no longer considered their legal guardian unless you apply to retain that guardianship (but these laws vary from state to state).
Without provisions in place to account for this transition, the court may end up making decisions about your child’s life. Financial, physical, social, and legal issues are just a few of the considerations that must be made for your child. You’ll also need to think about what kind of lifestyle they should have (including their daily needs and preferences) as well as which government benefits they are eligible for, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.
There aren’t many professionals who have experience with life planning for children with disabilities, so it’s important to start investigating your options as soon as possible. Ideally, you’ll want to work with someone who specializes in future needs and estate planning for people with disabilities.

Establish a Special Needs Trust

A Special Needs Trust is a legal document that allows family and friends to financially provide for a disabled person. If drafted properly, the funds in the trust are not viewed as belonging to the disabled person, and therefore won’t affect the person’s ability to receive government benefits.
SSI, Medicaid, and other government benefits typically make up most or all of the available resources that can be used for the financial assistance of disabled adults. It’s vital to have your child’s Special Needs Trust drafted correctly by a qualified professional so that these additional trust funds can be distributed from the trust for your child’s needs without hampering the child’s eligibility for government aid.

Draft a Letter of Intent

Even if you have all your legal and financial bases covered, you need to draft a document containing clear, detailed instructions regarding your adult child’s care for future caregivers. This isn’t a legal document, but it is essential in providing consistency for your child and guidance for those who care for them.
A Letter of Intent should contain details about your child’s capabilities, diet, medical information, activities, and daily routine. If appropriate, you can make a video to show caregivers how to assist the child with everyday activities. Not only does this information retain a sense of normalcy for your child after you’re gone or unable to care for them, but it also removes any uncertainty their caregivers may feel regarding your written instructions.

Contact Alabama Family Trust About Financial Assistance for Your Disabled Adult Child

Do you have questions? Alabama Family Trust has answers! We are dedicated to helping you care for your loved ones, both now and in the future. Contact us today!

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Contact Alabama Family Trust via the contact link below to learn more about special needs trust funds.

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