Why Special Needs Parents Should Create a Will

For our 40th birthdays, the hubby and I gifted ourselves the creation of our wills.

It does feel morbid to think about life after death as we celebrate this wonderful milestone; the hubby last fall and me later this Spring.

But we are pragmatic and recent events have emphasized the need to plan for the future.

We worked with a lawyer with expertise in estate planning and the process was straightforward. We had scheduled this process before recent events and noted the ironic timing.

Creating a will and related documents, such as a Power of Attorney, gives special needs parents the peace of mind that there is a plan in place for your child’s care if anything were to happen to both parents.

This article provides an excellent summary of key points for special needs parents to think about.

For the hubby and I, it all comes down to ensuring there is a plan for T’s care should something happen to both of us.

As the hubby and I know that individuals with FASD, of which T has an at risk prognosis of, often struggle with managing their finances even as adults, we opted to set up a trust for T, to be managed by an executor, instead of giving everything to him all at once.

The last few weeks have been so chaotic with Ma’s unexpected situation and virtual schooling that I was tempted to cancel the lawyer appointment. But we went through with it and now we have peace of mind it’s done.

Cuz I gotta say, if this pandemic doesn’t kill me, virtual schooling will, if it keeps getting extended.

During a recent bedtime, T and I were chit chatting to pass the time before he fell asleep.

I asked T, “Will you take care of daddy and I when we get old?”

He replied without hesitation, “Yes, I will do everything for you.”

Well, that was reassuring. I almost asked him if he could put that in writing.

15 thoughts on “Why Special Needs Parents Should Create a Will

  1. When my autistic client lost her dad a few years ago, I helped support her mom and we went to the lawyers to do the same thing. I tried to talk her parents into it before he passed but they thought they had plenty of time. She, too, felt so relieved to know she still had a say in her daughters life after she was gone. She turns 75 in a week! So kudos to you both for looking out for T at such a young age, yes compared to me you are young! Lol

    1. Thanks for sharing that story, Diane! That is so nice that you were able to help your client’s family to do that. That is a huge relief for the mother, I can imagine. Parenting a special needs child is so time consuming and finding the time to do anything extra, like creating a Will, is hard. But I’m glad we did it. One less thing to worry about. I’m excited about turning 40! 😀

  2. This seems to be a big year of milestones so far. Happy 40th birthday to you both. It’s always good to plan ahead for the future. And, at least cases have been falling and some students are going back to the classroom next week. So hopefully the days of remote learning are numbered!!

    1. Thanks L! We find out next week if TDSB students go back Feb 10 or not. I’m not feeling so hopeful but I hope to be pleasantly surprised. 😇 5 months till outdoor pools and hikes season!!!

      1. Fingers crossed. I imagine many parents are feeling frustrated with remote learning, it can’t go on forever. I can’t believe it’s already the end of January. I’m so looking forward to the summer. I’m planning on taking most of the entire month of August off from work.

  3. A very important topic every parent should read. Well done 🙂

    Also, happy 40th to you both! We’ve been celebrating 40 and close-to-40 here in our house, so we are about the same age 🙂 And T looks so grown in that photo! He looks like a little gentleman 😊

    1. Thank you! We’ve been wanting to do this for a while and glad we finally did it. And I’m not 40 just yet, thank you very much! 🤣

  4. These are very good and difficult decisions. I am glad you and your husband have taken this step. It is hard and wise to think about. (And, happy belated birthdays).

    1. Thank you! We’ve been wanting to do this for a while and glad we finally got our act together. Now we can die! Just joking about the last part. 🤣 Hope you are doing well!

  5. This is a very good point. We have not created a will, just a skeleton of one on our own. The question we always get hung up on is, “Who will take over the care of the children should something happen to us before they come of age?” No joke, we have no good options. But past that, it is important to think about and plan for all those other details!

    1. It is a very hard discussion. We’re fortunate we identified a willing individual but you’re right, it’s a very tough one. But it’s good you and Bob are thinking about it!

      It’s not like we have much assets on our end but the caregiver piece was the most important for us to figure out.

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