"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mark Start Your Calenders Engines

As you're no doubt aware, I have been offering presentations on various legal-related disability issues for a few years now.

It all started when, as I was in the process of creating the Nova Scotia Legal Guardianship Kit, it quickly became painfully obvious how few families really understood the differences between guardianship, powers of attorney and personal directives.

The need that I had identified (and which led to the creation of the Guardianship Kit) was so much greater than *just* being unable afford a lawyer in order to commence a guardianship application. There wasn't just a cost issue, there was a true information deficit.

Many years ago, someone explained to me that "there's what you know, there's what you don't know and there's what you don't know you don't know." I pondered that for a while and soon cam to realize how true it is. I also came to realize that, sadly, it's what you don't know that you don't know that is the real killer.

For example, lawyers are not taught everything there is too know about the law - it would be physically impossible to fit that much information into our little pea brains. What we are taught, beyond some basics, is where and how to find the answers to legal questions. In other words, we're taught the legal research skills needed to find the answers to those things we don't already know.

All of which is all fine and good, but what happens if a lawyer (or anyone else, for that matter) misses a potential issue? Just who is going to research the answer to a question that they don't even realize exists?

"But what does this have to do with my presentations?" you ask.

Well, I realized that not only did families need information about the different legal options available to support an adult with an intellectual disability but there was a host of other things they needed to know about - things that, in many cases, they didn't even know existed.

Two examples? The Henson Trust and the RDSP. The Henson Trust, by the way, is a particularly good example because for far too many families, no one even realizes there is an issue until the parents have died and it is too late.

And that, my friends, is what led me to the creation of the two other presentations I offer; namely, "Protecting Your Child's Financial Future" and "Government Money Most Families Leave on the Table".

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~

All this to explain to you why I am so pleased to be offering, for the first time ever, all three presentations together in a one-day workshop this Saturday, Feb. 9th, in Truro.  

The event is being sponsored by Parents Supporting Parents and pre-registration is required by emailing parentssupportingparents@;live.ca or phoning 641-2020. There is a minimum donation of $5 per person to Bright Skies Day Camp for Kids with Special Needs (which, by the way, I thought was a very nice touch) and you can get more information by visiting my FaceBook page.

But the reason I am so happy to be offering all three presentations in one workshop is because there is a fair bit overlap between the topics - for example, the Henson Trust comes up in both the "Government Money Most Families Leave on the Table" and the "Understanding the Legal Options Available to Support an Adult with an Intellectual Disability" presentations and the subject of guardianship comes up in both  "Protecting Your Child's Financial Future" and "Government Money Most Families Leave on the Table", all of which can be more than a little confusing for audience members when a related yet unfamiliar topic arises during a presentation but I only have time to explain it in a very limited way.

And all this takes me to my next question - "Will I see you there?".

I hope so.

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