Parents all over the country know that they need to make a plan for their children's well being in case they're ever incapacitated or if they pass away unexpectedly. While these decisions can be difficult for families with typical children, they can be even more complicated if one or more of the children have special needs. Special needs children take more consideration so if you have one, use these tips to make sure that they're taken care of after you're gone.
What Does A Trust Do For A Special Needs Child?
Trusts are ideal ways to financially provide for children after you're gone. Since children are too young to effectively manage their money, it goes into a trust where it is held until a child reaches a certain age. A trustee is appointed to manage the money and to ensure that it's used for the child's care, such as medical and education expenses.
However, special needs children often require more assistance. Depending on the level of needs, the children could qualify for government assistance, and any assets that are a part of a special needs trust are not considered when applying for government benefits. This can help ensure that your child qualifies for all the entitlements they should. If the funds are put into a regular trust, the child could be required to use all these funds before they qualify for assistance, leaving them penniless as they grow older.
Why Guardianship In Chicago Is Important
Guardianship in Chicago is important for any parent, but it's especially vital for special needs children. These children could require a great deal of assistance, even after they turn 18. For this reason, parents must choose their guardian carefully. When someone agrees to a guardianship in Chicago for a child with special needs, the guardian needs to know that they're agreeing to be responsible for the child well after he or she turns 18.
Additionally, when you're determining who should provide guardianship in Chicago for your children, realize that a special needs child can require a lot of patience. Many people, especially people who haven't performed day-to-day care for a special needs child, may not have the coping skills and support needed. Before you name someone to provide guardianship in Chicago, have an honest conversation about what this means for his or her lifestyle.
Who Can Help You Arrange A Trust And Guardianship In Chicago?
Once you know who you want to name as a guardian, it's important to contact someone who can help set up a trust and draw up the paperwork for the guardianship in Chicago. Many people are tempted to handle this themselves using DIY forms found on the Internet, but this is a terrible idea. Instead, contact an estate planning attorney who is skilled in trusts and guardianship in Chicago.
If you're not sure how to properly protect your special needs children after you're gone, let Peck Ritchey help. Their experienced and knowledgeable attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of estate planning, including trusts and guardianship in Chicago. To contact an attorney today, please visit http://www.peckbloom.com/peckbloom_contact.html.
Establishing guardianship is an unpleasant, but absolutely vital task for anyone with children under the age of 18. If the parents of minor children should die without naming a legal guardian in their will, the decision of who will care for them is left to the discretion of the courts. In order to ensure that your children are cared for by the individuals of your choice, a legal will with guardianship provisions must be created. But how do you go about making the incredibly important choice of who will take care of your children if the unspeakable should happen? While each situation will be different, here are a few important factors to consider when establishing guardianship of Chicago area minors.
Guardianship In Chicago: Who Would Be Most Able To Take On The Responsibility?
Raising children is one of the most difficult jobs there is. Choosing the right guardian for your child will involve innumerable factors, but selecting someone who is in a suitable position to care for your child or children should be paramount. It's important to consider the emotional, physical and financial situation of any potential caregiver. While the selection process will certainly be an emotional undertaking, these practical concerns are of equal importance. For instance, in many cases individuals may consider their own parents as potential guardians, but if the children are still very young their grandparents may not be able to effectively care for them until they reach the age of majority.
Will All Of Your Children Live Together?
While most individuals would certainly prefer for their children to be raised together, naming each child individually and specifying where they will live should not be taken for granted. When naming a guardian, be sure to specify that they should be responsible for all of your children. If for some reason your selected caregiver is unable to fulfil your wishes, or is deemed unsuitable by the courts, it's also important to indicate that all of the children should be placed in an alternate living situation together.
Are Co-guardians An Option?
In many cases, parents may choose another couple as caretakers. If a two-parent home is selected it's important that both individuals are named in the will to ensure that legal rights are granted to them both.
Does Your Chosen Guardian Share Your Values?
In selecting a person or persons to raise your child, many individuals prefer an environment similar to their current situation. It's important to consider if the new home you've selected for your children will be commensurate with the values and beliefs you hold. For example, if a particular set of religious beliefs is important, those beliefs should be matched in any potential caregiver. The overall personality and disposition of potential guardians should also be considered to ensure they meet your approval.
Will Your Children Be Comfortable In Their New Home?
Finally, it's important to think of whom your children would be most comfortable with. Ultimately, the goal of any guardianship appointment is to ensure the happiness and wellbeing of the child. If there are family members or friends with whom your children share a bond they should be considered.
In the end, there are countless factors that may play into your choice for guardianship in Chicago, but the expert attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC can assist you in ensuring that your children are properly cared for if you should be unable to do so yourself. If you have questions about the legal process for naming a caregiver for your children, or would like more information about creating a will, contact Peck Ritchey, LLC at 855-328-5787.
At Peck Ritchey, LLC we are more than just lawyers who help our clients navigate the legal system. We are lawyers who care about our clients. We care about their well-being and the well-being of their family members as they go through some of life's toughest transitions.
One example of this is setting up a guardianship in Chicago. It's a very difficult decision to choose to create a guardianship for an aging loved one and we understand that. That's why we offer emotional, legal and practical support to our clients as they face these decisions.
Yes, we can help you set up a guardianship in Chicago, but we won't leave you on your own once it has been established.
5 Ways Peck Ritchey Can Help Ease The Transition Of Guardianship In Chicago
There are many issues that arise as we age. One of the most difficult decisions an adult child can make is whether or not to establish a guardianship for their parent(s). Making that decision requires careful consultation with an attorney and other family members, but even after a guardianship has been set up, there are needs to be met. We can help you find the resources you need to navigate the transitions that caring for aging relatives bring.
1. Legal Knowledge. Sometimes, a guardianship isn't the best solution. We can analyze your situation and give you advice as to whether you should pursue a guardianship or if some other arrangement would work better such as power of attorney, a living will or surrogate decision-making.
2. Estate Planning. Depending on the type of guardianship created, you may find yourself responsible for your parent's estate. If they do not have an estate plan in place, a Peck Ritchey lawyer can help you create one. This can help ensure there are funds available for long-term care of the parents, to help you meet your tax obligations, or to make plans for nursing home care down the road.
3. Senior and Social Services. We are very active in the Chicago community and have developed strong working relationships with the many senior and social service agencies in the city. Guardians may find themselves under a lot of stress and pressure with their added responsibilities and could benefit from counseling or joining a support network of people going through the same challenges. We can help put you in touch with agencies that can make the transition to guardianship in Chicago easier on you and on your loved ones.
4. Social Security and Medicaid. It's not unusual for adult children to have questions about how Social Security and Medicare or Medicaid work once their parent is under a guardianship. If you have trouble obtaining access to benefits due to your parent(s), contact us. We can look into the situation and help you gain access to the benefits you are due.
5. Outside Care. Guardians still have their own lives to live. If you need help finding in-home care, suitable nursing homes, or end-of-life or hospice care for your loved one, we can recommend reputable agencies and review any documents or papers you are required to sign. If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, contact us immediately. We can investigate the situation and ensure actions are taken to protect your loved one right away.
As we live longer, we are sometimes less able to make sound decisions or care for ourselves. It's in situations like this that guardianships, also known as conservatorships in the case of older adults, come in to play.
Guardianships and conservatorships are court-ordered arrangements where a capable adult is given the responsibility of managing another adult's financial, healthcare or household affairs. They are commonly set up between children and their senior parents in situations where the parent is no longer able to make reasonable decisions on his or her own. In some cases, the parent has set up an advance directive which specifies who is to care for them when the time comes that they need a guardian or caretaker. It might even specify one person to manage their finances and another to manage their day-to-day life decisions or healthcare choices. Advance directives give the senior control over who will be responsible for him, but they must be set up well before they are needed.
More often than not, however, guardianship requests are brought before the court when it becomes apparent that the senior cannot care for him or herself any longer. In cases like these, the court makes the ultimate decision on who will be the guardian and what his or her responsibilities will be.
Protecting Seniors Through Guardianship Law
Seniors who are incapable of making sound decisions for themselves run the risk of being manipulated and/or abused by friends, family and strangers alike. Guardianship law helps avoid these types of situations. Guardianship law helps protect a person's assets and finances from mismanagement or theft by giving responsibility for such to a court-appointed custodian. Likewise, seniors' healthcare and living decisions are protected under guardianship law when a guardian is responsible for the decision-making.
Types Of Guardianships
There are three basic types of adult guardianship arrangements: Guardian of the Person, the Estate of Property and Plenary Guardian.
A Guardian of the Person oversees their charge's health. They manage all aspects of healthcare from making appointments to paying medical bills and dealing with insurance. Guardians of the Person might work with assisted living facilities to manage living and care arrangements. This type of caretaking is common to advance medical directives.
Guardians of the Estate or Property manage their ward's property, assets and finances. They might handle taxes and tax payments, the distribution and property and paying day-to-day expenses and bills.
A Plenary Guardian is a combination of the above-mentioned guardianships. Under guardianship law, plenary guardians manage nearly all aspects of their charge's life.
Creating A Guardianship With Help From Your Peck Ritchey Attorney
To set up a guardianship or conservatorship, a formal request must be brought before the court. As expected when you are talking about managing someone else's life for them, it is not a simple process, which is why working with a lawyer experienced in guardianship law is so highly recommended.
At Peck Ritchey our guardianship lawyers assist their clients every step of the way. From the initial filing of the legal papers to representing the client at court hearings, your guardianship law attorney will be a resource you can count on to guide you through the nuances of the legal process.
Even before papers are filed, you can expect your Peck Ritchey attorney to advise you of all of your options. Conservatorships are not the only way to protect seniors. Powers of attorney, trusts and estate planning are just a few of the tools available to you if you want to avoid guardianships or if you are denied a guardianship request.
Working with one of our experienced elder care attorneys will make the process easier and ensure you're choosing the best course of action for everyone involved. Our attorneys can help capable seniors set up advance care directives or they can help concerned relatives create a guardianship for their loved ones.