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Ten Topics to Talk To Your Parents About Your Special Needs Sibling

[big-title] TOP TEN THINGS TO TALK TO YOUR PARENTS ABOUT[/big-title]
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What is your parents's wishes for your special needs sibling?

[p]It is hard for parents to consider what life will be like for their special needs child when they are no longer living or able to care for their child. Talk to your parents about their wishes and goals for your sibling. What type of life do they see for your sibling, where do they see them living, what job do they see them working at and what activities do they see them pursuing for fun. Finding out how your parents see your sibling's life in the future will help you know your role in his or her life.[/p]
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Understanding Support Staff

[p]There is likely a support team already in place for your sibling. Get the names and numbers and what type of support they provide for all support people who help with your special needs sibling. It will be crucial for you to work with the team members already in place to help with a transition when your parents are no longer able to care for your sibling. If possible, set up a meeting with everyone so that you can meet them in your parents and sibling's presence. If your sibling works, reach out to the employer to let them know that you are there. There is likely a supports coordinator in the county where your sibling lives that you should know how to contact as well.[/p] [/two-third] [one-third last="true"] [/one-third] [/tab]
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Understanding Medical History

[p]Its important to discuss the exact diagnosis of your sibling. You should have a list of medications, doctors seen or currently seeing, and entire medical history. Also, you should be aware if there are any therapies or treatment that has been done or is being done. You should also know how they get their insurance. Is it private or through the government like Medicare or Medicaid.[/p] [/two-third] [one-third last="true"] [/one-third] [/tab]
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Important Documents

[p]You should know where certain documents are located (not just copies but where the originally signed documents are located). If possible, it would be advantageous to go over the documents with your parents. They are:[/p] [one-half last=false] [list-ul type="arrow"] [li-row]Will- Your parents may not want to share what is in their Wills but you should know where they are located if something happens to them.[/li-row] [li-row]Trusts - It is likely that a trust is set up for your sibling. You should ask if there is one, where is it located, and who are the trustees. It could be a Special Needs Trust, a Support Trust or possibly an Insurance Trust.[/li-row] [li-row]Birth certificate [/li-row] [li-row]Medical Insurance Cards - Either private or government issue[/li-row][/list-ul] [/one-half] [one-half last=true] [list-ul type="arrow"] [li-row]Tax Documents - You should know where the social security card is and know where copies of the prior 5 years of tax returns are located for both Federal and State Income Taxes.[/li-row][li-row]Funeral Arrangements or Cemetery Deed Plot [/li-row] [/list-ul] [/one-half] [/two-third] [one-third last="true"] [/one-third] [/tab]

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Is there a Guardianship or Power of Attorney in place?

[p]You should know if a Guardianship has been done for your sibling. Or there may be a power of attorney for your sibling. You should know the location of the documents and possibly review them. [/p] [/two-third] [one-third last="true"] [/one-third]
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What government benefits is your sibling receiving?

[p]You should know if your sibling is receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Medicare, Medicaid, State or Local Benefit, and possibly Waiver Funding.
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Financial Information

[p]You should have a listing of all bank accounts, brokerage accounts, insurance policies, stocks, annuities and any other asset either titled in your siblings name or for his or her benefit. You should know the name of the institution where it is located, bank account number, and any individual broker associated.  Also, you should be aware of who (if there is one) the representative payee is on an account.
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Daily Living

[p]You should know the daily living schedule of your sibling. Get to know the skills and activities he or she can perform by him or herself.  Learn about the activities her or she may need help doing or if they are currently working on something to do on his or her own.[/p] [/two-third] [one-third last="true"] [/one-third]
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What are the personal preferences of your sibling?

[p]You should discuss with you parents what things your sibling likes to do.  You may be surprised!  It will be important that they continue to do the activities they like to do during any transitional period.[/p] [/two-third] [one-third last="true"] [/one-third]
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Have your Parents fill out a Letter of Intent

[p]Basically. everything that is included in our ten points is included in a Letter of Intent. The Letter of Intent allows your parents to list all of the above information in one document. A great Letter of Intent can be found: here.[/p] [/two-third] [one-third last="true"] [/one-third]
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[big-title2]Kokua Network goes to great lengths to provide accurate information. Kokua Network is not rendering legal, tax, accounting or other professional advice or services and you should talk to a attorney, accountant or any other professional local to your area who is knowledgeable of the rules and regulations that apply in your unique situation. Kokua Network should be used as a general guide only.[/big-title2]