How Parents Must Prepare For Their Children’s Futures

Parents also have to look ahead at their children’s futures and at what they will need when they become adults.

We rely on very skilled people to help us with these assessments; they do neuropsychological evaluations and look at the children’s development, not just intellectually but socially as well. Certain injuries can result in serious impairments in judgment that could be dangerous if the person has no one to watch them closely. Provisions need to be made to provide that protection when the parents can no longer fulfill that role.

When a child turns 18, he or she is considered an adult by the government and yet, if they have impaired judgment, they may not be able to live safely as an independent adult. Much of the work I do is ongoing for these cases because years and years later we have to bring in the appropriate applications to have either parents or brothers and sisters continue as guardians. There also needs to be provision made for legal representation to make sure other arrangements are secured as families grow older and situations change. These children need advocates for life.

When I do obtain a reasonable award for a child who needs care right through adulthood, the award is usually structured–that means the award is paid off monthly to the guardian. The guardians have to be people who care for the infant and use the money for the infant’s future help and development. And many questions are asked. We have to consider whether the mother and father are going to stay together. After they break up, who is going to obtain custody of the child? What happens to the funds if there are other children involved? The money can be used not just for the damaged child but for other children to make sure that they have opportunities equal to those being provided for the child who’s injured. As the parents get older, we have to ask, will siblings take a reasonable role in administering funds to look after the child? It’s a very complex issue to determine the right path for all these kids for the future, but it is something that parents worry about and that we try to help them with.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the Toronto, Ontario Region, contact Strype Barristers LLP.

This article is taken from a September 7, 2007 interview with Jeff Strype LL.B., Personal Injury Lawyer with Strype Barristers LLP in Toronto , a Personal Injury Law Firm.

Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.