As Georgia's elderly population looks to their futures, many experience a feeling of hopelessness because they are not aware of the many resources available for elder care planning.
Most Georgia parents understand the need for a competently prepared estate plan to pass their assets to their children. This need becomes even more critical for parents of children with special needs. Parents with special needs children should consider some of the following suggestions to ensure that their special needs child receives the proper care after they are gone.
Planning for the special needs of loved ones, such as disabled loved ones, is important for families who have disabled loved ones, or others with special needs, to care and plan for. It is beneficial for families faced with concerns for special needs loved ones to understand how legal tools can help them with their special needs planning and concerns.
The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provides many benefits for children with special needs. IDEA is intended to ensure that all children with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate public education. When a special needs child is accepted into the program, that child is given an individualized educational program. Any proposed change in an IEP can be extremely disruptive, and IDEA provides a method for avoiding or minimizing the disruption.
Many parents of special needs children in Georgia wonder about what happens when their child turns 18. Will they lose control of the child's money? Who will make medical decisions for the child? Who will manage the child's life? Answering these questions can be some of the most difficult aspects of special needs planning. The answers to many of these and other questions will depend upon the nature and severity of the child's disability. In extreme situations where the child is not mentally competent or suffers from limited mobility or has assets that must be protected and managed, a guardianship may be the answer.
As people age, their ability to take care of themselves diminishes. Yet, people often want to remain in their own home as they age. While nothing about the aging process is certain or predictable, experts have prepared a number of steps that can increase a person's chances of remaining at home as they grow older.
Most Georgians who have endured the pain of a divorce can attest to the enormous amounts of stress, anger and frustration that must be endured by each spouse before the process is concluded. Whatever unpleasantness may be associated with an ordinary divorce, the pain and stress of a divorce with a special needs child is usually far greater. If the parents of a special needs child have made the irrevocable decision to terminate their marriage, the following planning cautions may help ease the turmoil experienced by the parents and by the child.
For many people in Georgia, the concept of a lawyer who is knowledgeable about assisting families with special needs children or adults may seem a bit far-fetched. Nevertheless, the modern complexity of federal and state benefit programs for special needs people sometimes demands the advice of an experienced attorney to sort through the myriad of details.
Georgia provides a multitude of resources for people with special needs, both children and adults. But, what about caregivers and parents? Where can they turn when the energy for caregiving has been temporarily or even permanently exhausted? Fortunately, the needs of this vital group have not been overlooked. A number of resources can be found that are directed toward caregivers and parents of special needs children and adults.
All Georgia families with a special needs member, whether that person is a child or an adult, will benefit from careful planning for the person's future. Both state and federal government agencies provide significant assistance for special needs people, and parents and siblings can take steps to ensure that their family member is provided the necessary care and financial support.