Dad with special needs child organizes free estate planning webinars

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — One local dad who has a son with special needs is helping families learn about estate planning.

Carlos Diaz is a financial planner for Edward Jones who said he’s organizing virtual webinars community members and a local attorney to educate parents on the financial and legal side of estate planning.

Diaz said his passion for the project stems from the experience of wanting to secure a better future for his child with autism.

“For my son, things have to happen a certain way, every day of the week and at a certain time, and he knows those routines,” he said, “If something happened to his mother and me, we would just want to make whoever we put in charge of taking care of him, aware of those routines.”

Diaz said not having an estate plan can have consequences, such as leaving the important decision making to a judge to make long-term decisions.

“Maybe the judge who maybe doesn’t know you assigns guardianship to someone who you never expected or ever thought would be best for the child, so there are a lot of reasons to start planning,” he said.

Jeanne Terry, behavioral analyst wit Caprock Behavior Solutions, said her son was in a car accident 11 years ago and suffered a traumatic brain injury. She said she helps with the seminars because she knows how overwhelming planning for the future can be.

“You’re just left to Google it on the internet, and you don’t even know what you’re Googling,” she said. “You don’t even know sometimes what to put in for the topics on what you need to do.”

Terry said the most important thing during the process of estate planning and caring for a child with special needs is to look forward.

“Look for progress,” she said. “It can be tiny. It can go from him having his eyes open to he’s looking at you now. You’ve got to keep that hope,” he said.

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