Do you have a ‘special needs’ child?

Most of us know that each child is special and unique, but in this case I’m talking about a child that has ‘special needs’.

These special needs can run the gamut from being mildly allergic to milk to being unable to care for themselves at all.

When the child is under the age of 18, the parent can make decisions for the child without question so long as they have not been removed as the legal guardian of the child.

But what happens when that child reaches the age of majority?  In most states, a person is presumed to be able to make their own decisions when they reach the age of 18.

If your child’s special need is to not drink milk, this is probably ok.  The child probably knows to stay away from foods that have negative consequences.  But what about a child that is not able to take care of his or her own self?

If the now-adult child is capable of understanding what it means, he or she can execute a power of attorney giving the parent (or someone else) the authority to act or make decisions on behalf of the child.  If the child is not capable of understanding what it means, the courts may need to step in to authorize someone to take actions on behalf of the child.  This person is usually called a ‘guardian’ or ‘conservator’.

As a parent, you also want to make sure that your young child is cared for in case something should happen to you.  While this is important for all parents, it is even more important for parents of special needs children who may not be able to successfully transition to the care of others in the case of an emergency.

There are also a number of financial and legal planning activities that the parents of a special needs child should know about in order to make the best decisions for the entire family.

If you have a special needs child, you probably already have a number of specialists working with you on your child’s medical and educational plans.  You should also consider having someone work with you on your child’s legal plan.

To Learn more about Kristina Beavers, Attorney at Law visit the website at www.BeaversLaw.com

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