If you have ever taken care of someone with special needs, you are familiar with all that it requires to properly care for them, including medical and personal needs. Children with autism can benefit from the valuable resources available in Louisville. One great resource is the Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Louisville, a non-profit organization that actively supports and funds autism programs. FEAT of Louisville is dedicated to simplifying the journey through autism with ongoing support, education, and programs.
The history of FEAT of Louisville
FEAT was founded in December 1999 by a small group of parents with a common goal of finding answers to their children’s unique medical problems and special educational needs. This important organization collaborates with the Louisville community to create various programs. These programs are offered in and around the Louisville area. For more than 10 years, FEAT has been instrumental in designing critical programs that serve children with special needs.
Examples of useful programs offered by FEAT of Louisville
The Endeavor Program is a more comprehensive preschool program that provides a specialized, therapeutic program for children ages 2-6 who have been identified as having autism or a related disorder. The teacher, behavior therapist, and parents review initial assessments and create Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for every child with special needs. Dreams In Motion Summer Camp has been offered to the community since 2007. It is a summer camp for children ages 7-21 with autism. It is the only 8-week educational, therapeutic and recreational summer camp for children and teens with autism in the Louisville Metro area.
Why you need a special needs plan
If your loved one receives assistance from any income-based government programs, such as Medicaid and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then it is necessary to protect their eligibility for those benefits programs. Special needs planning is designed to do precisely that.
Mistakes to avoid in creating your special needs plan
A special needs plan is an indispensable part of every estate plan where an individual with special needs is involved. Whether you have a child with a disability or an adult family member who is unable to manage his or her own financial affairs, special needs planning is crucial. While there are several common mistakes that could ultimately thwart your efforts, you can avoid those mistakes with a little knowledge.
You may not be able to rely entirely on family for support
A common misconception that many parents of special needs children have, is that relatives will automatically step up and care for their child should the parents die or become incapacitated. Whether or not this may be true, parents need to provide at least a basis for the care their children will need, if for nothing else but to provide continuity of care. At the very least, your child with special needs should have the security that a special needs plan can provide. Special needs care can be complicated and expensive, depending on the nature of the disability or incapacity.
Don’t forget to fund your special needs trust
Generally speaking, a special needs trust should form the foundation of any special needs plan you create for the benefit of someone with disabilities. Put another way, a special needs trust is an essential part of all special needs planning. It is the special needs trust that will own and protect the assets set aside to provide the care your loved one needs. However, simply creating the special needs trust document is not sufficient.
The property must also be transferred or “funded” to the trust. Usually, this simply means transferring the property into the name of the trust. If the funding process is not completed successfully, then your trust will be flawed, leaving your child’s future unprotected.
Don’t delay creating of your special needs plan
The worst mistake you can make is to procrastinate. The truth is, every individual with special needs can benefit immeasurably from having a special needs plan. This should be accomplished as soon as possible before the unthinkable happens and you die or incapacitated before you can complete your special needs planning. If this were to happen, your loved one with special needs may be left to rely on others, who may or not be equipped to do so properly. That is the last thing a parent would want to happen, so create your plan now.
If you have questions regarding a special needs, or any other estate planning matters, contact Gersh Law Offices, P.S.C. for a consultation either online or by calling us at (502) 423-7023.