You may be sick of the word “unprecedented,” (I know we are!) but the truth is this year has been like no other. If you haven’t before, you probably have been confronted with the reality that our lives and all the safeguards we have gathered around us are fragile and impermanent. Knowing how much our special needs kids depend on us will make you either freeze with fear or go into high gear trying to prepare for every contingency. If, like so many of our recent clients, this past year has caused you to think more than usual about making sure your “affairs” are in order, we have some suggestions for things to be thinking about.
- If you have an estate plan, get it out and look it over. Make sure it still fits your family’s needs.
- If it took you a while to find your estate plan, pick a good place to keep it from now on and let your trusted family members know where you keep it. Make a note in your calendar for a year from now to go look at it again, and tell yourself in that calendar entry where it is.
- Touch base with the people you have named as executor, trustee, agents in your powers of attorney, and any backup people you have named. Ask if they have any questions about what their duties are and what they should do when you pass. Your older and adult children especially want to know what you have planned – read one sibling’s perspective here.
- If you haven’t done your estate plan yet, take some time to think about what you want to do. We’ve posted some light hearted articles analyzing how famous movie deaths have been affected by estate planning choices. Seeing how estate planning can have consequences for your family might get your planning juices going. Batman, Cinderella, Ghost, Harry Potter
- Compile or update the non-legal information about your special needs child. If you suddenly come down with a severe fever and have to isolate and can’t communicate, will your child’s substitute caretakers have easy access to information about emergency numbers, medication, and daily care? Create a binder or accessible computer file with the information that will be needed quickly in a pinch.
Although estate planning may seem overwhelming, the attorneys at Parker Counsel Legal Services, a special needs law firm, can guide you through the process and provide ideas drawn from real life to help you put a plan in place and help you keep it up to date with your own changing circumstances. We’re here when you need us.