Saturday, February 17, 2007

Today's Seminar

This morning my husband and I attended a workshop at the hospital. The social workers annually have a lecture on planning for the future for special-needs kids. They cover issues like guardianship, power of attorney, finances, health care, etc. We learned a lot. They threw a lot more at us than we could absorb in a day.

A couple of things stand out from this morning's workshop -- things that have nothing to do with what we were supposed to be learning. First, the sadness of some of the situations. A man sitting behind me struck up a conversation, and he mentioned that his power of health-care attorney is his wife and his doctor, because a man can't trust his wife not to bump him off with all that insurance money sitting there waiting for her. At first, I thought he had to be joking, but as he kept chattering on and on, I realized he wasn't. Another man was asking the speaker questions about trusts, and mentioned that he and his wife have trusts set up that ensure the money goes to the kids, inaccessible to the spouse should there be a divorce. Even the speakers admitted that these things need to be taken into account, because most families with special-needs kids will experience divorce. Oy! How depressing!

The second thing that impressed me was the comment about the tiny tiny amount of SSI benefits. And we're thinking that if Maggie got SSI benefits, we aren't sure how we could ensure that it all got spent. (You do have to spend it all and can't save it.) The only way she could spend that much per month would be if she had to provide shelter for herself, or if she got really frivolous with spending money. People were talking about making sure that your kids have some "quality of life," and are able to buy CDs and new clothes, take vacations, buy treats, get tickets to shows, etc. Good grief, if we can rarely give that to our kid while we're alive, how can we be expected to provide it to her even after we're dead?

In our discussions today of wills and money and insurance, we were teasing about the young bimbo Gary would marry after I assume room temperature. We realized that anybody who married Gary for his money would truly have to be one heck of a BIMBO!

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