Special Needs Planning
As a parent of a child with special needs, have you considered what scenario you would prefer to play out for your child in the event of your incapacity or death? If you suddenly became incapable of caring for your child with special needs do you have the necessary documents in place to protect your child? If you are unable to care for your minor child with special needs, who would you want caring for them?
Without putting a plan in place the odds are that what would end up happening will not be what you would have chosen. Your child’s safety could be compromised. Your child might end up in foster care. The persons who eventually took care of your child would likely be unaware of routine practices that make your child feel safe and secure. If you have an adult child with special needs, are they able to care for themselves sufficiently to manage their own life in a safe and reasonable way? Can they make appropriate lifestyle, financial, and self-care decisions? If your adult child with special needs were to suddenly inherit outright from your estate, would he/she lose needed government benefits? Would so-called “friends” appear to help your child spend the inheritance inappropriately?
A good estate plan will strategize the use of trusts, both general and special needs/supplemental trusts to maximize benefits and keep your child with special needs safe and secure all their life.