Legal & Financial Professionals

As a legal or financial professional, you play a critical role in helping families complete a future plan. It is important to have a discussion with the person with I/DD and the family about what support they need in order to best advise them on public benefits, special needs trusts, financial planning tools, and guidance on forms of supported decision-making and guardianship, if necessary.

Federal and state laws are complicated and change frequently. Mistakes in planning can lead to serious consequences, including loss of eligibility for public benefits. You should also be knowledgeable about the disability community and resources available in the area. A grounding in other laws affecting the disability community, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act will help you provide the best counsel to the people with I/DD whom you serve.

For more information about disability policy in your state, contact a chapter of The Arc or the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities. The National Disability Institute also provides information on efforts to improve financial capabilities of people with I/DD.