Planning for the Future



When it comes to future planning, it can feel overwhelming to think about. As your child or family member with a Developmental or Intellectual Disability ages, you do as well. Planning ahead can help guide you and your family member into the next stages of life. This can help lead to individuals living a life as independent as possible and receiving the support to participate in the activities and services they would like. It is never to early to start planning for the future. This page has resources listed to assist families and caregivers in planning for the future.

This page will share upcoming events and opportunities for families, so make sure to continue to check back!

Future Planning | The Arc US

Future Planning is the process of creating a guide for an individual with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) for all stages of life, especially when their parent or primary caregiver can no longer provide support. The Arc of the United States created this program to help individuals put together a plan to organize information on all aspects of a person’s life including:

  • Daily Routines, needs, and Support
  • Living arrangements
  • Finances
  • And more

AARP | How Parents can build a support system for children with Developmental Disabilities 

AARP put together a page that gives parents and caregivers a guide to help you find financial resources and supports to consider when planning. This page gives information on SSI eligibility, housing estate planning, and more.

Special Needs Alliance | Developing an Estate Plan for Parents of Children with Disabilities 15 Step Approach

The Special Needs Alliance created a webpage in partnership with Long, Reher & Hanson P.A. Lawfirm for tips to develop an estate plan for parents of children with disabilities. This provides tips and information on specific strategies for gathering information to make a thorough plan regarding your estate and your child’s future if you are too pass or unable to provide care.

Adult Sibling Toolkit Guide| The Arc of Snohomish County and the Washington State Developemental Disabilities Council

A future planning guide for siblings of adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Washington state. This guide will assist you in gathering information on identifying supports, gathering paperwork, finding “go-to” supports, and more.

Recognizing the Person in the Context of Family | LIFECOURSE NEXUS

An important part of future planning includes identifying the existing relationships defined by the individual and their family. It is important to identify the roles of these relationships in caregiving. LifeCourse Tools provide two resources for individuals and caregivers to use to map out these relationships: Mapping Relationships and Reciprocal Roles.

Mapping relationships will help you identify different people and the ways they support you.

Reciprocal Roles will help you identify the people in your life and the ways they support you and the role you take in their life. This will help identify gaps to build even stronger relationships.

Family Community Connections Guidebook | THE ARC OF WASHINGTON STATE

As a family member, there may be days when you think it is impossible to find community resources or engagement opportunities. Parenting is hard work. Add in a son or daughter with an intellectual and/or developmental disability, and the task becomes daunting. Many people toss around words like communityinclusion, and belonging; yet finding ways to make these ideals a reality can be confusing, complex, and overwhelming. There is no right path and no right approach. The guide includes worksheets for identifying people, places, and ideas to help broaden your family member’s social circle and community connections.

DD Endowment Trust Fund

Considerations in planning for the future may include wills and special needs trusts.  One option for you to explore is the DD Endowment Trust Fund (ETF), administered by The Arc of Washington State. This public/private partnership creates a stable resource to enhance the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities.  For more information, call toll-free 1-888-754-8798 ext. 1 or visit the DD Endowment website.

Financial Planning Resources | The Arc US

You don’t need a lot of money to make a financial plan, but you do need to plan. Saving money is crucial for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to live full lives. A financial plan can help determine how a person with IDD will pay for the things they want and need in the future.

Visit the link here to download free resources on how to save money and navigate public benefits, ABLE accounts, special needs trusts, and more


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