Question: As the parent of a child with special needs, what extra planning do I need to consider?
Answer: Just like with estate planning for any young family, there are 2 major considerations for you:
- Who will take care of your special needs child if you can’t?
- How can you provide them a secure financial future?
The first step is considering their legal guardian (this is the person who will take care of your child in the event that you can’t). If you name someone now, you can take the burden off of your family later.
The second step is setting up a special needs trust. Similar to other trusts, this will outline how money can be used for the benefit of your child, so you never have to worry that their quality of care will change if you’re not around.
You’re also probably wondering if you can leave an inheritance to a special needs child without disqualifying them from Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. The answer is yes – and this is another significant benefit of a special needs trust.
A trust like this assures that your child will not be removed from Medicaid or SSI, which is especially important after they receive any money! Your decision to plan ahead maintains their eligibility for these government programs for the long-term because their assets are owned by the trust, not the child.
Set up a free consultation to create an estate plan that’s personalized for your family.