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The whole COVID-19 has brought home the importance of being prepared and that we are never really sure of what is around the corner. Why did this come into my head?

I’ve had so many parents contact me in the last few weeks with relation to the future of their children. To help parents I have put together a checklist, I think all parents need to work through. Now is a great time to check over everything and hopefully, all our kids will go back to school, day centres or service providers in September, parents might have better headspace to focus on these essential areas.

CHECKLIST

  • Is your Letter of Wishes updated so it reflects your child a little bit better than the last version? Remember to include all the little things that are important to your child and what your future aspirations are?
  • Has your child’s health changed since you wrote your original Hospital Passport? Or does your child have a new therapist/professional dealing with them or a change of medication?
  • Are your chosen Guardians and Trustees still suitable for the next 5-years? Do you need to talk to different people to ask would they step into the role now and replace your original selection?
  • Have you doubled checked if any of the latest changes to entitlements will have a positive or negative impact on your access to entitlements? Has your circumstance changed over COVID-19 that now allows you to access other benefits?
  • Have you opened a Special Needs Bank Account for your child? How much is in there and is it starting to build up too quickly?
  • Is your Special Needs Will still relevant and was it explained to you in plain English? Do you need to make contact with your solicitor again to update it due to changes in your life?
  • Are you on target to fund your child’s future Special Needs Trust? Do you need to increase the percentage of Domiciliary Care Allowance or Disability Allowance you are setting aside for their future?
  • Have you spoken to all well-meaning family members who intend to name your child in their wills? Do you need to guide them on the importance of not leaving any money directly to your child?
  • Do you now need to start considering future living arrangements for your child? Have you spoken to your current service provider regarding respite and short term living arrangements?
  • Do you need to do some special needs pension planning? Are you getting closer to retirement age and wondering how best to manage this transition period?
  • Have you investigated the Capacity Bill and its impact on your child’s future? Do you need to read up more or do a course to better guide your child around this area?

I hope you can tick most of these items off your list. If you have a few that need to be sorted then make a shortlist and put a timeline next to it. Always remember if I can help then feel free to contact me, as I am always keen to help parents stay on the right path when it comes to their child’s future.