October is Special Needs Awareness Month! To celebrate, Annette Hines hosted four webinars on important topics related to Special Needs Law. Following those events, she also aired Parenting Impossible Podcast episodes on three of the topics listed below. Click on the titles to hear the episodes and learn more. 

October 5 – Special Needs Planning
Estate planning is really a navigation system we use to set and accomplish goals for the future.  When you are protecting someone with a disability, you want to ensure that the right people are in charge of your family at the right time, no matter who gets sick, who becomes incapacitated, or who passes away. We do all this with proper legal planning documents in place and an understanding of who are the people in your Circle of Care that you can count on to be there when you cannot be.

October 12 – Preparing for Adulting: Transition Planning
Learn about organizing your resources and creating a roadmap for the future of your disabled student who is approaching adulthood or for someone experiencing a change in services or caregivers.  Transition planning is like a three-legged stool. We’ll take a look briefly at the three legs of the stool that include: 1) public benefits and your Circle of Care; 2) legal estate planning; and 3) legal decision making and authority and how you support your loved one. Learn more about transition planning through our new course and coaching program: https://enroll.specialneedsfamilyservices.com/

October 19 – Voice & Choice: Guardianship and Legal Decision Making
Legal decision-making support takes many forms and should always be the least intrusive necessary. It is our responsibility as a community to ensure that disabled voices are heard and choices are honored. In this session, you will learn how to make this a person-centered process and what the alternatives to guardianship are in our country.  I will outline the range of options to support legal decision-making, including supported decision-making agreements (“SDM”), Health Care Proxies, Powers of Attorney and more.

October 26 – Special Needs Trust Administration
In this session, I will explain what a special needs trust is all about and the different types. I’ll explain steps to choosing a trustee, who is like the CEO special needs trust, and what the role of the trustee is.  Learn answers to questions like: What can a special needs trust pay for? What kinds of distributions can I make from a special needs trust? How do I work with my beneficiary who is disabled?