Create a Plan
You must create a comprehensive estate plan for children with special needs. A basic will is not enough to protect your children. Never use a DIY estate plan for special needs situations. Instead meet with a competent, experienced estate planning attorney who understands the complexity of these matters. An estate planning attorney can help you create a detailed plan that protects your special needs child and ensures your child receives his or her inheritance through a trust – rather than directly.
Special Needs Trust
A special needs trust is imperative for children with disabilities. For your child to keep receiving Supplemental Security Income or other government benefits, you must give your child their inheritance through a trust. The trust will hold the inheritance – not your child; therefore, it won’t interfere with any benefits they qualify for. A trust can also be used to deposit funds for your child in the future.
Select a Guardian
Your special needs child will need a guardian to look after them. Consult with your family and friends and select a guardian who is best suited to care of your child. You know your child has specific care needs; therefore you should ensure the caretaker you select can handle the physical, emotional and financial strain of a special needs child.
Lastly, don’t forget adult guardianship. The law will consider your grown child to be an adult, even if they have special needs. You need to apply and prove they are incapable of managing their own life efficiently before they turn of age. This way you can elect a person to represent their medical and financial matters after you pass away – regardless of how old they are.
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