AFTER I'M GONE

The After I’m Gone Program offered by The Arc Community Advocates is intended to assist families in planning for the future of a loved one with a disability.  It focuses on ensuring that the family member with a disability lives a happy, quality life after their loved ones pass on.  The After I’m Gone Program also serves as a guide for family members in preparing for the future to ensure all major areas of life have been addressed and plans put into place.


    

How does After I’m Gone Work? 

 

1. The parents or family members of an individual with a disability work with a staff member at The Arc Community Advocates to answer a series of questions related to several different areas of life. 

These include:

  • Health
  • Finance
  • Living Siituation
  • Resources and Benefits 
  • End of Life Planning


2. The staff at The Arc Community Advocates will review the information to ensure major issues have been addressed and work with the family to resolve any concerns that arise. 


  1. The family works with the staff member to develop a support plan detailing how the client will utilize natural supports, public support systems, legal supports, and service providers to ensure a continued happy life.
     
  2. Once a support plan is in place, the Arc Community Advocates advises parents and/or family members to meet with staff at least once every two years to update the information and address any changes in systems, laws, and people involved.
     
  3. After the death of the initiating parents and/or family members, The Arc Community Advocates should be provided with new primary contact information so they can continue to update guidance information. If no such information is provided, The Arc Community Advocates will assume the successor guardian or independent adult does desire to continue long-term planning with The Arc Community Advocates.
     
  4. This program is intended to help with planning and organization for future situations. It is not a legal service, legal document, and is not legally binding.
     

How will the information provided by parents and family members be used? 

The After I’m Gone paperwork includes questions about many different areas of life. The answers to these questions provide us with the parents’/family members’ input as to their vision for the future life of this loved one. However, it is important to understand that the parents/family members have no legal standing for decision making after they pass away. The adult child with a disability and/or their legal representative will make decisions based upon the current situation and circumstance. Given that, why do we think it is important for this information to be provided? 

 

• Natural Supports (Friends and Family) 

 

• Lifestyle Choices 

  

After I’m Gone Program Information 


  1. The questions raised in the After I’m Gone Program are intended to generate thought and discussion about many vital areas of life. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure a smooth transition and that future needs are met.
     
  2. If problems or issues arise in the future, the best way for the future advocates and legal representatives to know the intent of the parents and family members is to have that information is writing. We will encourage legal representatives, providers, and others involved in the support of your loved one to consider the information when making decisions or taking actions that affect the future of the loved one with a disability.
     
  3. If significant problems arise such as poor quality of care, inappropriate actions from a guardian or trustee, or disputes among legal representatives, the information provided by the parents/family members can be used to determine the original intent of the trust, guardianship, or legal representation.
     
  4. The best way to ensure that your voice as the parent/family member of an individual with a disability is heard after you pass on is to leave a written record. While the written record does not ensure your wishes are followed 100% of the time, it does ensure that your wishes are part of the conversation.
     

How is the information related to After I’m Gone maintained, and who has access to the information? 


  1. Records for clients of The Arc Community Advocates are maintained for seven years after our last date of contact. This practice will remain in place for After I’m Gone clients so long as the organization continues to operate. The duration for which records are kept may be adjusted according to changes in organizational policies or practices.
     
  2. After I’m Gone documents are available to the client and his/her legal representatives upon request. The parent/family member who initiates the file may also create a list of other individuals or organizations that they wish to have access to the After I’m Gone file.
     
  3. The client and his/her legal representative may choose to sign a Release of Information allowing The Arc Community Advocates to share documentation at any time.
     

Who is eligible for the After I’m Gone Program? 

The After I’m Gone Program is restricted to individuals who have an intellectual or developmental disability and reside in Kalamazoo County. Participants must also be members of The Arc Community Advocates. 


Is there a cost for participation in the After I’m Gone Program? 

There is no direct cost for participation in After I’m Gone. However, participants must be members of The Arc Community Advocates. Beyond the cost of membership, there are no additional charges for participation. In recognition of the fact that participants may not regularly pay membership dues after the passing of their loved one, we do ask that: 

  

After I’m Gone Program Information 

  • The initiating parents and/or family members enrolling in the After I’m Gone Program maintain an annual membership during their life in order to retain the ability to update their After I’m Gone documents.
     
  • The parents/family members may choose to pay a $250 lifetime membership fee for the family member with a disability to maintain their membership in good standing after their loved ones pass on. This lifetime membership will entitle the individual with a disability access to all supports available to members of The Arc Community Advocates including the After I’m Gone program.
    If you have any further questions regarding the After I’m Gone Program and how it can be used to ensure the continuing quality of life you desire for your loved one with a disability, please contact The Arc Community Advocates at 269.342.9801 or e-mail contact@communityadvocates.org.