As a Special Needs and Estate Planning attorney and as a mother, I work empathetically with parents all the time to make sure their minor children will be protected in case of incapacity or the death of one or both of the parents.
At the Law Offices of Laurie Ohall P.A., one of the ways we do this is to legally appoint not only long-term, permanent guardians but also temporary, emergency guardians who are legally empowered to act quickly and take your children into their care and custody if an accident or a tragedy strikes.
The hardest part of the process is choosing the people you feel comfortable with to provide your children with long-term care, which is a tough decision for most parents. Not to mention the complications (and stress) that can arise when it becomes clear that the kids would fare better if left in the care of different guardians (and yes, perhaps even be separated from one another) if the death of one or both parents occurred.
While it may seem like this is unusual, it is something that parents of children with special needs really need to think through. There are additional challenges to raising a child with special needs, and it is critical to select a guardian who is prepared to deal with his or her needs. Also, the child may need a guardian long after he or she becomes a legal adult at 18 years old.
Making the choice to name different guardians for your children may be painful, but there is no reason, legal or otherwise, that stops you from leaving your children to the care of different people if it seems necessary for their future well-being. As I tell parents all the time, YOU and only you know what is best for the physical and emotional well-being of your children in a time of need. While the ideal situation is to leave the kids together if possible, life circumstances may dictate that alternative plans be made.
One of the major benefits of estate and special needs planning is getting the opportunity to talk through these issues with someone who can help you look at things, practically while analyzing the consequences of these decisions. If you haven’t made plans yet to legally appoint someone to care for your kids if something happens to you and you’d like to talk through your options, give our Tampa special needs planning attorneys a call at (813) 438-8503 to schedule a consultation. We’d be happy to help you create a plan that works best for your family.