If you are a parent of a child with a disability, like I am, then you will know that you need to be an advocate for them at all times, when navigating the education system, the medical system, the legal system, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the social security system.....the list goes on.
You will do everything in your power to ensure that your child receives the best treatment, that they are provided with the same opportunities as their siblings and peers. This involves additional time and effort on your behalf. It involves you having to research, stay on top of any changes (changes seem to happen as soon as you "get on top of a system") and to keep in touch with a range of supportive experts who can assist you in a number of different areas.
While you are able to, you do this and work at being the very best parent that you can be, but what happens when you are no longer around or no longer able to do this?
There are a number of things to think about in relation to the legal system:
- Does my adult child have the ability to sign contracts, do they understand money and can they manage their own financial affairs?
- Does my child have legal capacity to make a will?
- Does my will and Power of Attorney take into account their needs and any ongoing support I give them?
- Can I set up a special disability trust in my will, or during my lifetime, to provide for my child's future and to name a trustee I trust to manage their affairs? If so, can my child still earn an income and does it affect any entitlement to the disability support pension?
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.