If you have a child with special needs, then you know that they often need a lot of money in order to get the basic services they require. This means that you have some extra challenges to overcome in estate planning.
Caring for a child with special needs is not like caring for other children. Other children are expected to eventually be able to support themselves. However, that is not always possible for children with special needs.
Consequently, the parents of a child with special needs must have a plan to care for their child when the parents pass away.
It is not an easy task.
Recently, the New York Times published an article on this very subject titled "Tips for the Future Care of Disabled Family Members."
The following are key points from the article:
- Get Started - The first step is to just get started. You will want to make plans to provide sufficient resources and to ensure that all of your funds will not be used for your own retirement or later-in-life care.
- Use New Tools - 529A savings plans may soon be available. They will allow you to save up to $100,000 for your child without jeopardizing your child's eligibility for government benefits.
- Trusts - Setting up a special needs trust with the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney is extremely helpful.
- Guardians - Plan carefully to appoint your child's guardian. It is often better to have two guardians, one to handle the finances and another to handle other matters.
Reference: New York Times (March 27, 2015) "Tips for the Future Care of Disabled Family Members