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Planning For The Future

The following resources can be helpful for future and long-term planning on issues such as guardianship and creating an Advanced Directive.

This free, web-based calculator by Harty Financial can assist special needs families in getting an idea of future income needs. It has an intuitive interface that guides the user through a series of questions about them and their child. At the end, it suppolies an estimate, based on the input information, for how much money they may be requred at the parent's death to help fund a child's long-term needs.


Plan of Maryland - DC., Inc.
The mission of PLAN of Maryland – D.C., Inc. is to enable individuals with disabilities to maximize their potential for independence and quality of life through coordinated service and programs that emphasize long term planning, clinical case management, family services and financial management.

Maryland ABLE

Maryland ABLE accounts are a new way to help individuals with disabilities save money and pay for qualified disability-related expenses without jeopardizing state or federal means-tested benefits such as SSI or Medicaid.



Guardianship is a legal procedure by which a court seeks “to protect those who, because of illness or other disability, are unable to care for themselves.”1 The statute uses the term “disabled person” to refer to an adult who has been judged by a court “to be unable to manage his property,” and therefore needs a guardian of the property, or “to be unable to provide for his daily needs sufficiently to protect his health or safety,” and therefore needs a guardian of the person.

Guardianship and Its Alternatives: A Handbook on Maryland Law

Many questions come to mind when we realize that a loved one or someone we know cannot care for herself or make necessary decisions. This Handbook is designed to help you find the answers to these difficult questions. It discusses the law of adult guardianship in Maryland and explains when a guardian can be appointed to act for a person who lacks the capacity to make decisions for herself or himself. But maybe more importantly, the Handbook lists many alternatives to a formal guardianship proceeding that may be more appropriate and less expensive than a formal guardianship.

The following form can be used for Petition for Guardianship of Alleged Disabled Person

Mental Health Advanced Directives

Regardless of age or health status, a medical crisis could leave you too ill or injured to communicate decisions about your health care. Thinking about the types of treatment you would or wouldn't like and potential outcomes is important before a medical crisis occurs. Learn more about Advance Directives from the Maryland Health Care Commission here.

Watch the Mental Health Directives PSA


Maryland law gives the right to anyone 16 years of age and over to be involved in decisions about their mental health treatment. However, a parent or guardian of a person under the age of 18 years may authorize treatment, even over the objection of the minor. The law also notes that at times, some persons are unable to make treatment decisions. Maryland law states that you have the right to make decisions in advance, including mental health treatment decisions, through a process called advance directive. An advance directive can be used to state your treatment choice or can be used to name a health care agent, that is someone that will make health care decisions for you. The following form is provided through the Maryland Department of Health to establish the Advance Directive.


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