Hudson Valley Parent

HVP October 2018

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Page 24 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 25 • Fun, friendly atmosphere • Sedation services available • Treating kids of all needs • Most insurance accepted on. When that adult child starts to have assets, that could affect their benefits. The parents think they are doing something good by leaving life insurance policies and/or property, and that may not be the case because it may affect their Medicaid. A lawyer can be really beneficial to help protect that." Throughout all these processes, documentation is always beneficial. Be prepared with doctor and therapist reports, school records, testing, birth certificates, and observations from teachers. When creating guardianship, information is also needed about those who will be the guardians. Some of the details needed are name, maiden name and aliases, address, date of birth, and education level. When it is time to choose a lawyer, parents should talk to those who have already worked with lawyers within the specialized field. Finding a lawyer that fits the family's needs and budget is key. Is the law firm experienced in special education, guardianship, trusts? Does the lawyer take the time to get to know the special needs child and family? Does the firm grow with the family as needs change, or is the specialization worth changing lawyers later? "The answer for a parent as to whether there is a need for a special education attorney is much like the answer to, "How does a parent know when they need to put up a nanny-cam in their home?," says Phelan. "My recommendation is, if you have thought you might need it, you probably do! By the same token, if you are wondering whether you need a special education lawyer, you probably do! Always follow your inner gut!" Patrice Athanasidy, who lives with her family in Westchester, has written for numerous publications in the tri-state area. She is an adjunct instructor at Manhattan College in the communications department.

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