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How to pick a guardian for special needs child in estate planning

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2019 | Guardianships & Capacity

It is well known that parents with small children have to make important decisions about who will care for their kids should something happen to them. But what about parents of children with special needs? Whether a special needs child is younger or older, fairly independent or in need of a specialized guardian, Ontario parents of special needs children should take some important steps when planning their family’s future.

First, it helps to include as much detail as possible in a letter of intent. Medications, daily routine, calming strategies and health care plans should be included in this letter. Additionally, practical details, such as the passwords to online accounts and personal information, should be provided. Anyone who reads these instructions should be equipped to step in and take over all care that the parents provided, should something happen to them.

Considering the financial needs of a special needs child is also important when it comes to writing a will. In some cases, special trusts can be set up for children with special needs. If possible, parents should explore options to set up nest eggs and arrangements that will provide for the child’s needs, should something happen to their family members.

One of the most challenging decisions special needs parents must make is which person or organization should act as guardian, should they pass away. This can be an emotional decision, but it should be approached pragmatically and with a great deal of communication. Working with an Ontario lawyer to solidify these plans into a legal document is also a recommended step to ensure these wishes are followed.

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