I Am a Parent of a Child With Special Needs; Where Do I Start?  

Photo-1505876104692-2f34b9d54303We are often in the community giving workshops or presentations at community events or local churches and nonprofit organizations. 


It is typically fairly obvious based upon the angst on the person’s face and the pure emotion when they are the parent of an individual with a disability and special needs.  They don’t know where to start, they don’t know what questions to ask, and they do not know where to turn for the answers. 


While we believe in education for all of our clients, regardless of the situation, it is absolutely the key and the first step for a family with an individual with special needs.  It’s never too early to start getting information and understanding the different options of how to deal with where you are but also what options may be available in the future.  


In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, when a person reaches the age of majority, which is 18 years of age, they are presumed to have capacity to make decisions on their own.  I advise individuals with special needs family members to contact us prior to the individual’s 18th birthday so that we can determine whether or not we are going to be able to enter into a power of attorney or if we are going to have to go through the steps of a guardianship proceeding.  


Once we get over that first hurdle and have evaluated the level of involvement another person will need to have to best protect the interests of the individual we can then start mapping out a route and start planning for the future.  We will then discuss different options such as special needs trusts, ABLE accounts and how life insurance may fit into the plan.  


Please contact an expert in the area of special needs planning to start the conversation and determine the best path to move forward.  We offer a special needs planning workshop, not only live, but also via a on demand link for you to watch at your convenience.  If you would like more information about our special needs planning workshops, please contact our office at 717-845-5390.  


jeffrey bellomo

Jeffrey R. Bellomo, Esquire is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation under authorization of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. As the owner of Bellomo & Associates, LLC he advises families about the legal challenges facing them today. He counsels clients and provides solutions on: Asset Protection, Special Needs Trusts, Wills, Trust Design, Guardianships, Medicaid and Estate Planning & Administration. His mission is to provide professional caring service to all his clients.

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