Wills, Powers of Attorney, Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts all require a lawyer but are necessary for many adults with ASD. Disability Rights is a national organization providing free/low-cost legal help.
Proper planning for your child’s future requires documentation. All of these legal documents require a lawyer:
Last Will and Testament
Describes how you want your estate distributed and appoints a guardian for your child. In some cases it should not distribute assets to a child with special needs, which may jeopardize any aid they receive.
Letter of Intent
Describes how you want your child to be cared for and expectations for their future. It is not legally binding but is rather a pathway for a caregiver to follow. It's also called a Memorandum of Intent or Life Plan.
Durable Power of Attorney
Appoints an adult to make medical, financial and other decisions for someone else without the involvement of a court.
Special Needs Trust
Appoints a trustee to manage money and assets for a person with a disability in lieu of a court-appointed guardian. Life insurance can be used to fund the trust and improve the life of the child when parents pass away.
ABLE Accounts are a new way to save money for your child's future. As of this year, eligible individuals and their families will be allowed to establish ABLE savings accounts that will not affect their eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and other public benefits.