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Part 1: Caring for someone with special needs: Where do you start?

Essential tools and resources for families with kids who have special needs.

A simple to-do list can help organize immediate needs and long-term goals, as well as provide a framework. The Special Needs Network, a nonprofit group providing professional services to special needs families, suggests the following:

  • Apply for all state and federal government programs on behalf of family members with disabilities.
  • Make certain that when you pass away there will be adequate funds available to provide for family members. Be sure to properly safeguard assets so that government benefits will not be jeopardized or depleted.
  • Designate in writing an advocate/guardian for children or family members in the event of your death.
  • Select future living accommodations for aging and/or loved ones with a disability.
  • Prepare a Letter of Intent for the individual who will be providing for any family members when you are no longer able to do so.

So what’s next? Talk to others in your community, including parents, resource groups, and professionals. And contact your agent. When it comes to your family’s financial future, your New York Life agent can help you find solutions that fit your needs. And if you don’t have an agent, we’ll help you find one in your local area. Simply use the Talk to Us tab or the Consult an Agent form on the page, and an agent in your area will contact you at your convenience. Or click here to learn all the ways you can do business with us.

You can also learn more about planning for someone with special needs in our series:
Caring for someone with special needs: A look at federal and state programs.
Caring for someone with special needs: Special needs trusts and finding the right professional to help.
Caring for someone with special needs: Assessing the costs of care.
Caring for someone with special needs: Guardianship and finding peace of mind.