Life Care Planning

Recently we had a probate administration come into our office. The mother passed away with no estate plan in place. She was survived by two daughters, each of whom has disabilities. Both daughters have never been able to sustain employment and they both rely on various government assistance programs. The younger of the two daughters, in her mid-forties, has always lived with her mother. The older daughter, in her fifties, has lived apart from her mother in Section 8 subsidized housing. Because there was no special needs trust in place, both daughters were in danger of losing their government assistance, so our law firm established special needs trusts for each of them as part of the probate administration.

More importantly, the one daughter who had always lived with her mother was totally unprepared to take care of even the simplest of matters. The residence in which she had lived for most of her life needed to be sold and she could not accept the fact she would have to move. She is having a difficult time transitioning to her new life without her mother outside the residence she has lived in for decades.

Her life transition would have been much simpler had her mother planned ahead. A special needs trust for each daughter could have been established and a life care plan put in place. Our geriatric care coordinator could have evaluated each daughter’s situation and a plan could have been implemented to transition each daughter to a life without their mother. A plan could have been put in place to potentially save the existing residence, purchase a new residence for one or both of the daughters or to assist in finding independent or group living arrangements for each of the daughters. The daughter who had lived with her mother all her life could have been introduced to these different arrangements while her mother was still alive.

Each of the daughter’s disabilities could been be evaluated and a care plan put in place to make sure they are getting the best treatment possible for their individual disabilities and that all public and private assistance programs that would benefit them was obtained.

A plan could have been implemented to assure that a team of friends, family members, social workers and members of our law firm are in place to assume the care giver duties the mother of these two duties undertook for all these years. Had a life care plan for these two women been in place when their mother passed away, their transition to a life without their mother would have been much easier and their mother could have passed away with the knowledge that her disabled daughters will be looked after and well cared for after she was gone.

life-car-planningIf you have a special needs loved one, don’t wait until the last minute to put your plan in place. For more information about life care planning, visit our Life Care Planning website. You can also get more information at the website for the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.

To receive one of our informational brochures, “Consider a Life Care Plan,” click here.

special-needsFor more information about planning for special needs persons, visit the website for the Special Needs Alliance.