Life Planning


Life Planning

Long-term planning for an individual with disabilities

ADNet books: After We're Gone, Supportive CAre in the Congregation, Circles of Love


Caring for someone who is dependent due to a significant disability is a major responsibility. Making provisions for that person's physical, emotional, and financial well-being after the death of the parents or other caregivers can be complex and confusing.

After We're Gone:A Christian Perspective on Estate and Life Planning for Families that Include a Dependent Member with a Disability introduces options and resources for the Christian family and faith community as they interact with the legal system to make provisions for the ongoing care of loved ones with disabilities. 

Written by Duane Ruth-Heffelbower in the 1980s and republished by ADNet and MennoMedia in a revised 2011 edition. To order, please contact the ADN office at 574-343-1362.

"This book is an extended hand, reaching out to those who are worried or frustrated to offer encouragement, support, and hope."

   --Wilfred Martens, PhD,                           
Professor Emeritus of English, Fresno Pacific University
Founding member, California Mennonite Residential Services

More life planning resources

  • ABLE accounts​. In late 2014, Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, creating a new type of tax-preferred account for certain disabled individuals. Since 2016, ABLE accounts can be opened in a state other than the beneficiary's (person with the disability) state of residency, because not all states offer ABLE accounts. As a result, ABLE accounts are now more like 529 Plans such that a person can invest in any state's ABLE program. As a general rule, a person may only have one ABLE account established for their benefit. There are annual ABLE account contribution limitations.
  • Special Needs Trusts​ for persons with disabilities. A special fund, usually set up by an estate planninig attorney, to supplement governmental benefit programs such as SSI and Medicaid without negatively affecting the person's eligibility for benefits.
  • The Arc Center for Future Planning. Includes a section of resources for clergy and other faith leaders.
  • Resources to support self-determination
  • Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN). Canadian non-profit organization, established in 1989 to help “families secure the future for their relative with a disability and provide peace of mind.”

 Learn more

    • Options for providing a congregational network of care for persons with significant disabilities and their families.
    • Frequent concerns for families when a member has a disability: caregiving, siblings, transition to adulthood, respite, life planning, long-term support, Anabaptist disability providers, and more.
    • Starting and sustaining a group for mutual support of people dealing with similar challenges.

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