Pre-Planning with Disabled Children

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A solid estate plan is necessary for everyone, but parents with disabled children should consider it even more crucial. Do you have a plan in place regarding how your child will be cared for? Without proper planning, a child who is unable to live independently may be at serious risk for injury or left vulnerable. The American Bar Association suggests developing a special-needs trust to ensure parents that their child will be provided with care and resources for his lifetime. Now is a great time to put the plan in motion to protect your child.

Special-Needs Trust

A special-needs trust is basically a way for parents to leave an inheritance to their children without disqualifying them from receiving helpful benefits from Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and other government benefits. Since most of these programs are resource-dependent, it means a recipient of benefits may only have a limited amount of assets and income. According to the ABA, parents should name the special needs trust as a beneficiary in their will instead of naming the disabled child.  The trust also can be named to receive IRAs, retirement plans and life insurance policies. Your lawyer can point you in the right direction to protect your child and leave behind an inheritance she can depend on.

Selecting a Caretaker

Aside from the financial decision, you must make regarding your disabled child, a more important consideration to make concerns his caretaker. If your child has a disability that requires assistance from a guardian, you should carefully plan a series of successors to be in charge. A professional attorney will execute documents which will protect your child in the event of your passing. It’s important to work with an expert who specializes in estate planning because each state might have different laws and circumstances regarding the qualifications of legal guardians. This is not a decision you want to entrust to an online program that can create obstacles when your child needs help.

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