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portrait of father with with teenage son


It is never too early or too late to start planning for the future.

It is now time to plan for your child’s transition from adolescence to adult life. The focus now shifts from supporting your child in school to helping him or her to achieve the greatest possible level of independence. At this point it is important to maximize the entitlements of education to provide opportunities for vocational exploration, daily living skills, and independence.


  • Your child’s abilities may be more defined by this stage and you may be able to have a glimpse of his/her future abilities as well.

  • Now begins the time to explore options and alternatives for when your child turns age 22 (or the age upon which your state no longer provides public education services). This is called “Transition Planning”. Ask your school system to provide you with information about residential and vocational opportunities after school.

  • Consider hiring a facilitator to run a “person-centered plan” for your child to assist in planning for life after school, to brainstorm different goals, hobbies and work opportunities.

  • Obtain eligibility information for any and all government agencies in your state that may potentially provide funding and services for your child at age 18 and after turning age 22.

  • Interview and ultimately identify the most appropriate agency to provide residential and/or vocational services for your child’s abilities and likes. Vocational services may also mean a day program for your child to attend – again depending upon their abilities.

  • If you feel that your child will not be able to make decisions on his her own behalf, you should consider the possibility of filing for guardianship or alternatives to guardianship upon their attainment of age 18. 

  • Prepare your child to financially qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Medicaid eligibility. This means that assets in his/her name or custodial accounts should be less than $2,000 (2018 asset limits).

    • Medicaid Eligibility Requirement Oklahoma

      2018 Oklahoma Medicaid Income Limits - Single - $2,250 - Married- $2,250

      2018 Oklahoma Medicaid Asset Limits - Single - $2,000 - Married - $3,000

      2018 Oklahoma Medicaid Home Equity Limit - Single - $572,000 - Married - $572,000

  • In the event that your child’s assets are in excess of $2,000 and they would not financially qualify for SSI and/or Medicaid, you should contact a CFP® and an attorney knowledgeable in government benefits eligibility to discuss options of spending down the assets or transferring them to a Special Needs Trust or ABLE account prior to applying for benefits.

  • Assess your overall financial situation to help determine your ability to achieve your financial goals – including college funding for other children, financial requirements to fund your child’s supplemental needs, and your own retirement goals(first!). Review your estate planning documents to be mindful of estate tax planning considerations, ownership and beneficiary designations of assets, retirement plans, and life insurance policies.

  • Talk to your other children about your plans and your vision for your child with special needs. They may have input to share as well.

  • Communicate with extended family members, i.e. grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other friends and relatives that may be interested in transferring wealth to you and your child that you are in the process of planning for your child’s future security.

  • This is the ideal stage to begin planning for the future for your child. You still have time to make changes and to explore options if you have not done so already.

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