Ways Your Estate Planning Can Protect Your Loved One with Down Syndrome


As the parent of a loved one with Down syndrome, do you have an estate plan in place? Estate planning is important for all Floridians, but it is even more important if you have a loved one with Down syndrome. When you have a loved one with Down syndrome it can result in both mental and physical challenges for this individual. While there are similarities in the diagnosis for impacted individuals often each person has different strengths and weaknesses.

As the parent of your loved one with Down syndrome, you are often both the advocate and the caregiver. In these two capacities, and more, you are probably in charge of many daily tasks including, but not limited to, the following:

• Providing personal care
• Standing up for and ensuring the rights of your loved one are protected
• Being sure your loved one has access to education
• Accessing government benefits
• Locating doctors and specialists
• Supervising prescription medications
• Keeping a stable home environment
• Assisting your loved one with interactions with both family members and the outside world
• Protecting them from harm
• Being sure they are not take advantage of

With all of the above said, have you ever contemplated a time when you would no longer be here to provide for your loved one with Down syndrome? That thought must be terrifying.

Now is the time for you to think about estate planning and the ways it can ensure that your loved one with Down syndrome is protected should there come a time when you are no longer here to care for him or her. A Florida estate plan will allow you to choose the successor for your loved one’s person as well as planning for his or her financial stability. By planning now with an estate planning attorney experienced in this area, you can work together to create a care team that will act in your place when you are no longer able.

You and your Florida estate planning attorney will work together to create your estate plan for your loved one with Down syndrome. Your plan will probably include special needs planning. Estate planning in this area can include:

• A special needs trust
• Making choices regarding future healthcare decision makers for your loved one
• Planning for the financial security of your loved one
• Transition plans to ensure someone can access government benefits

We highly recommend that you make a detailed list of instructions on just what it is you do. Many loved ones of family members with Down syndrome have fought significant battles for years and they know both what to do and what not to do when it comes to caring for their loved one. Therefore, it is important for you to provide instructions for future advocates so they are not at risk of not knowing what to do in specific situations.

Your estate planning attorney has the experience to talk to you about what it means to create a special needs trust for your loved one with Down syndrome. You want to share your concerns with your attorney as well as what your goals for the future are.

We know this can be a difficult future to plan for and are here to help you.

Being named within your parents’ estate plan brings serious questions that you need answered. At Family Elder Law your estate plan is about meaning, not just money. We build a holistic plan based on your values, causes, and beliefs. We believe that peace of mind matters. You should fully understand and feel comfortable with your completed plan. We want you to know we are always here. You can expect a lifelong relationship that includes plan reviews and ongoing communication. Do not wait to contact us to schedule a meeting with our experienced legal team.

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