When doing estate planning, it is crucial to consider the long-term care and financial security of your loved ones, especially if you have special needs children. Planning ahead can provide peace of mind and ensure that your children with special needs continue to receive the care and support they require.
Learn about important considerations for including special needs children in your estate plan.
Establish a special needs trust
Establishing a special needs trust allows you to set aside funds for your child’s future needs without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid. A designated trustee manages the trust, utilizing the funds to provide for your child’s extra needs, such as medical care, therapy, education or recreational activities.
By including this in your estate plan, you can ensure that your child’s financial future remains secure while preserving their access to essential government assistance programs.
Appoint a guardian and advocate
Choose a trusted individual to serve as a guardian who will protect your child’s care, well-being and best interests when you are gone. The guardian has the authority to make important decisions regarding medical care, education and daily living arrangements. It is crucial to discuss this role with the potential guardian beforehand to determine their willingness and ability to fulfill the responsibilities involved.
Also, appointing an advocate, such as a family member or close friend, can provide ongoing support and assistance for your child’s needs and rights throughout their life.
Regularly review and update your estate plan
Estate planning is an ongoing process, requiring regular review and updates as circumstances change. Regularly evaluate the financial needs and evolving care requirements of your child and make necessary adjustments to your estate plan. This may involve updating beneficiary designations, modifying trust provisions or revising guardianship arrangements.
Thoughtful and comprehensive planning will provide the necessary support and peace of mind for both you and your special needs child.