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.
Many people consider estate planning to exclusively involve the management of their assets after passing away, but there is more to it than just this. It also involves planning for who can make decisions on an individual's behalf if they no longer have the capacity to do so. It is important that Ontario adults and their loved ones have serious conversations about what may happen in a variety of situations, not only in the event of a death.
People with special needs and their caretakers have many unique challenges. One that is often overlooked is the prospect of planning for a person's financial future, including formulating an estate plan. This is important for those who have disabled loved ones with limited capacity, especially if the primary caregivers may pass away first as is often the case for parents of special needs children in Ontario.
Not every Ontario family gets along. While some members get along and have each other's best interests at heart, this may not be the case for others. Estate planning accounts for this by allowing you to retain control over who handles your property when capacity becomes an issue.
Taking over the decision-making process for a loved one can be a daunting prospect. Most family members who undertake this task want to do their best, but may not understand what it entails. Becoming a guardian for an Ontario resident comes with numerous responsibilities and duties.
Perhaps you have come to the realization that your aging parent can no longer make good decisions for him or herself. You may wonder if you are simply applying your standards to your parent, but you still have a nagging feeling that it would be in his or her best interest to have a guardian appointed. This is usually a necessary step when the individual requiring assistance does not have a power of attorney in place, which would bypass the need to receive permission from an Ontario court to make decisions on behalf of someone else.
When Ontario residents create their estate plans, they are often encouraged to include powers of attorney that appoint someone trustworthy to make decisions for them if they become incapacitated due to an illness or injury. For people who do not yet have an estate plan, this protection does not exist. This is where a guardian comes into play.
It can be challenging enough for young, or even middle-aged, Ontario residents to understand the value of a will or trust to dispose of their property after their deaths. Understanding that death may not be the only event under which estate-planning documents could be useful may be even more of a challenge. People tend to forget that there could be a time when they lack the necessary capacity to make decisions for themselves due to an accident or injury.
Most horse owners are well aware of the financial obligations that come with their unique hobby. From vet bills to riding lessons, Ontario equestrians often face a hefty price tag and a myriad of responsibilities. Among these is the need to create estate plans that address the future of horses in case something happens to their owner, including naming a guardian and providing adequate funds.
In the age of PayPal’s, rewards’ programs and kickstarters, securing your digital assets is often overlooked when drafting a will. Providing clear guidelines regarding your digital accounts – including social media accounts – can help you protect your digital assets, as well as your personal details.