Category Archives: Special Needs

Book Review: “Moving Out A Family Guide to Residential Planning…”

Moving Out – A Family Guide to Residential Planning for Adults with Disabilities is a wonderful resource for families exploring living options for their loved ones. Written by Dafna Krouk-Gordon, the founder and president of TILL, Inc., and special needs attorney Barbara Jackins, the book is a wealth of information in an easily understandable format.

The Chapters cover the types of residential options that are available, how you and your child can prepare for their independence, the financial aspects of moving out, how to work best with the staff at the residence and troubleshoot any issues that may come up, as well as your continuing role in your child’s life and how to make the arrangement can continue even after you are gone.

It has a wonderful appendix with examples of job postings for residential staff (if you are going to set up your own residence), a checklist of what your child will need,  sample house rules, safety assessments, even pictures of group homes.

If you think your child may one day want or need to live independently, this book is a great place to start to help you both get ready.

Moving An Out of State Guardianship To Massachusetts

Here is a scenario that happens everyday: Sue Jones lives with her daughter Mary Jones in Georgia. Mary has intellectual disabilities and Sue was appointed as her guardian by a court in Virginia. Sue and Mary move to Massachusetts. Sue visits with an attorney to make sure everything is in order and asks “does myContinue Reading

When You Are Having Trouble Choosing a Guardian for Your Child With Special Needs

When I am working with clients who have minor children, or children with special needs, the conversation always includes talk of potential guardians. For minor children the guardian would need to serve until the children turned 18. For children with special needs, depending on their abilities, they might need a guardian for their entire life.Continue Reading

A Resource for Parents of Children With Special Needs

Parents of children with special needs are often told to write a “letter of intent” for their child’s future care givers or to create a binder with all the information someone would need to know. The prospect of this can be overwhelming, leaving people with little idea of where to start or what to include.Continue Reading

What Can Special Needs Trust Funds Be Spent On?

A frequent concern with parents of special needs children who have set up a special needs trust for that child is making sure that the child gets the most use out of the money. The limitations put on the expenditures by Social Security and other regulations can sometimes make parents or other family trustees hesitantContinue Reading

Friendship Home – A Resource For Individuals With Developmental Disabilities

I recently spoke to a group of parents at the Friendship Home in Norwell about planning for their children who have developmental disabilities.  Friendship Home opened in 2010 and provides respite care, day programs, job training, travel opportunities and family support. They also provide companion services and peer support groups. As their website says: FriendshipContinue Reading

Who Should Be Trustee of Our Special Needs Trust?

When parents are setting up a Special Needs Trust in Massachusetts for a child, one of the primary considerations is who will serve as trustee in the event that the parents can no longer fill this role.  The trustee is the person who would be in charge of making decisions about money and property, makingContinue Reading

What Does My Lawyer Need to Know?

Before I meet with clients, I send them questionnaire so they can gather information that will help us both be more productive in our meeting. In general, clients bring this paper work back in one of three ways: 1. Completely filled out with attachments and tabs, 2. Partially filled out (meaning they put their nameContinue Reading

Should You Have Co-Guardians?

When thinking about pursuing guardianship over a family member with special needs who is unable to care for themselves, many families wonder whether they should appoint co-guardians, so that there is someone in place if something happens to one of the guardians. Here are some of the benefits to having co-guardians: Someone is available ifContinue Reading

Resource For Parents of Children With Special Needs

My Texas colleague, Pamela Parker, has written a workbook for parents to help you create a “personal instruction manual for your special needs child.” As Pamela writes, the workbook helps parents provide information about their special needs child to future caregivers and trustees. By using the charts and answering the questions in this workbook, parentsContinue Reading