Planning for the Future

Future aheadIt is always a good idea for parents to plan ahead.   This is especially true for parents of children with developmental disabilities. As you and your child grow older, it is important to plan for the future. Where will your adult child live when you are no longer there to care for him or her? How will your adult child earn money or pay bills? Overall, how will your adult child live without your support? These are all questions you may have asked yourself.

Fortunately, you are not alone in this. Whether you need help with government assistance, estate planning, or final expense planning, there are people who can guide you through the process. The Illinois Department of Human Resources, Division of Developmental Disabilities offer a variety of resources and list links to other helpful resources for parents on their web site: http://www.dd.illinois.gov.

The Hope Institute for Children and Families is hosting an upcoming Parent Night on November 12, 2014. The topic is “Planning For Your Child’s Future: Special Needs Estate Planning”. The event will be held at the Noll Medical Pavilion in Suite 2500 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. To register for this event, go to http://www.thehopeinstitute.us/parent-nights-sponsored-by-the-hope-institute. The purpose of special needs estate planning is to ensure that the portion of the parent’s estate which passes to their child at the time of death is not considered an available asset, as defined by public benefit agencies.Your decisions in these areas can impact your child’s ability to receive government assistance and services in the future.

Additional resources on this topic and many other subjects can be found on the The Autism Program of Illinois web site: http://theautismprogram.org. One of the resources found on the TAP web site is the “Entering Adult Life” tip sheet which is very helpful for parents whose children are nearing adulthood. This is a guide that focuses on “non-school” strategies for parents and guardians to consider that provide benefits and protection for a child with autism or another developmental disability.

It is never too early or too late to start planning for the future. You can begin by visiting some of the resources listed above.

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