Today is World Autism Awareness Day which was established to raise awareness about autism in all regions of the World. According to the some studies, 1 out of 150 individuals will have some form of autism and while the experts and researchers nobly debate causes and cures, there is one thing for sure, everyone is aware that more resources are needed for research, education and support for families and children with autism.
Families with autistic children often need to assess and reassess how to pay for it all. Having a long-term financial strategy helps as it allows for families and relatives to help without limiting government assistance.
As government assistance comes with restrictive income requirements and can narrow a family’s financial options—here are some things to consider from legal prospective that can help with this long term planning
- A simple will or gift from grandparents/relatives without more planning might be problematic. For example, leaving a cash amount through a will to a dependent adult might disqualify the dependent from receiving governmental care. Even simple trusts, could end up costing their loved ones even more than the value of the gift if needed government assistance benefits are denied.
- Grandparents, parents, and other friends and relatives that want to help an autistic beneficiary should look into the appropriateness of a Special Needs Trust. A Special Needs Trust is a more complicated estate planning instrument, but does a better job passing gifts to the ones you want without causing them additional headache.
- Charitable donations to these causes can have tax benefits for those gifting
Want to get involved with the desert area events and organizations? Here is a partial list of local organizations related to helping those with Autism.
Healing Horses, Therapeutic Riding Center of Coachella Valley
Coachella Valley’s chapter of the Autism Society of America (760) 772-1000 for more information.
Both routinely have events to foster local family support.