Disclaimer: I have been paid by Moliterno Insurance to share my story.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD IF YOU WOULD DIE TODAY?
“I hope that we outlive Jack-Jack,” I said to my husband one night. (Jack-Jack, our youngest son, is autistic.) Have you had those thoughts before? If you are a special needs parent, maybe you understand that feeling. Maybe you have uttered those words in your head. Most parents wish for their children to outlive them, and that is my hope for my children too. But several years ago I actually said that I wanted to outlive one of my children, and I said it out loud. I can remember everything about that night when I uttered that phrase to my husband.
Most parents expect to die before their children. That is the natural progression of life, but they also expect that when they die, their children will be self-sufficient adults. But sometimes life doesn’t happen the way we expect.
Having a non-verbal son, the youngest of 5 children, was overwhelming. If I could have looked ahead to the future, I probably wouldn’t have uttered those words, but I could not see any good outcomes for Jack-Jack. As the youngest child, Jack-Jack will most likely have to endure the hardship of losing most of the people he loves and relies on. For a typical person, that is difficult. To watch loved one after loved one die is sad, but for the autistic person, and each person is different, we don’t know what their response will be.
Jack-Jack hates words like death and dying. In fact, after last weeks funeral, he has been a little more antsy. He keeps asking “Where’s Melissa?” (His adult sister) when she isn’t home. While shopping, he kept reminding me to not leave him, and he said, “Promise me you won’t leave me.” How would you respond? You know that you will eventually leave your child, but how can you explain to them that you will not be leaving them. The standard words, “everybody dies” don’t seem to work. I tried to explain to Jack-Jack that I can’t promise I won’t leave him, but I did tell him that we have a plan if something happens to mom and dad.
PLANS – You know what they say about plans. When my husband and I were younger, we had an insurance agent talk us into term life insurance. The idea was that we would have insurance while our children were still in the house and then by the time they were grown, we would be independently wealthy.
Here is what happened to that plan:
- We had a child with autism
- My husband had a cardiac arrest – Read about the day he died
- The “independently wealthy” idea didn’t work the way we thought it would.
The term life insurance came up for renewal, and since we weren’t independently wealthy, we needed to continue our coverage, but it was no longer affordable. For some strange reason after you have a cardiac arrest and quadruple bypass surgery, your insurance rates skyrocket.
We did manage to get insurance, but this is OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR other families dealing with special needs children:
GET WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE
Get it while you are young. Do not rely on getting it through your job. If you quit or lose your job, you most likely will not be able to continue that coverage. And for most people, coverage is very affordable when you are young.
PURCHASE WHOLE LIFE THROUGH A REPUTABLE AGENT
PURCHASE MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU WILL NEED
Most people are underinsured. As you age, your family grows. You buy a bigger house. Your loved ones will need more insurance than you think.
SET UP A TRUST FOR YOUR CHILD/REN.
Contact an attorney to talk about setting up a trust.
YOUR CHILD MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS NOW
Your child may be eligible for Social Security Insurance disability benefits if your family income and assets are below an established SSI limit. Visit HERE for more information.
PLAN FOR YOUR DEATH
These are hard questions, but they need to be asked. Where will your child live? Who will care for him/her?
SIT DOWN AND EXPLAIN THE PLAN TO ALL YOUR CHILDREN
Thinking about a child dying is devastating, but for a parent with a special needs child, thinking about dying and leaving them behind can be absolutely soul-crushing to you and them. But I guarantee you will sleep better at night knowing that you have both a financial and care plan for your child after you are gone.
Don’t wait until it is too late to talk with an insurance agent. Call Moliterno Insurance (In Ohio and Pennsylvania) at 234-254-5660, or visit them at their website.
Do you have a plan in place? Comment below or drop me a line at email@example.com.
Patty @ A Mother’s Random Thoughts