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I am the Parent of a Child with Special Needs, How do I do Estate Planning?
There are additional layers of consideration to be given to a situation where there are children who have special needs that you need to include in your estate plan. There are additional layers of consideration that someone with these circumstances has to consider.
Those who are parents of children with special needs have three main options to consider as they look at the options that are available to them.
Allow the Child to Rely on Public Benefits
Most parents bristle at the idea of leaving their child with special needs at the whims of public benefits, but that is not actually as bad as it sounds. If the parent has modest means, then they might actually be doing their child a favor by leaving it up to the governmental system to take care of their needs. You see, when the parent is of modest means themselves, it might be necessary at times to simply allow the government to jump in and do what it needs to do to help your child.
If there is a limited estate to provide for your child in the first place, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing the system to kick in the way that it is supposed to and provide benefits to your child.
Make a Gift to Your Child
Another legal way to provide part of your estate to your child with special needs is to make a legal monetary gift to the child. You should always set this up under the advice of legal council. They can provide you with the information you need about how to create a gift structure that is legal and will stand up in court. That is not as easy to do as you might think, and you certainly don’t want to put any part of the estate in jeopardy when you don’t have to. Why not take the opportunity to learn the best ways to take care of providing this gift to your child?
You can gift your child some part of the estate as a gift while you are still around. This will help you ensure that you are able to transfer your gift to your child in exactly the way that you want to. There is nothing wrong with making sure that everything is set up just perfectly, and that is something that you have the power to do when you take the time to ensure that your gift is made ahead of time.
Special Needs Trust
This is the best option for parents of children with special needs. The reason is because this kind of trust protects the interests of children with special needs to ensure that they receive exactly what the parent intended. That takes at least some of the stress off of the shoulders of the parent, and it makes life just a little easier for them. You have to admit that it is such a relief to know that something of this level of significance is taken care of without having to stress yourself out or worry about any additional steps that you otherwise might have had to take.
Why the Trust is the Best Way to go
A trust is the ideal way to care for your special needs child from a financial perspective after you depart this Earth simply because that kind of trust will pay out the benefits that your child needs as they need them. You can put someone in charge of the trust to ensure that payments go out to your child as they are supposed to. On top of that, you never have to worry about your child being unable to understand these benefits or what steps they need to take to receive their benefits. You have already taken care of everything for them, and they simply get to gather up those benefits and be taken care of.
The individual who is put in charge of the trust should be someone that you trust to get the job taken care of. There are also government employees who can be set up to take care of the trust if you would like to go about it that way.
You have full control and power over which options you decide to take to ensure the care of your child with special needs is given the highest priority. It is very important that you look at your options and decide for yourself how to best take care of this situation. We understand that it can feel intimidating at first, but we hope that you will give this process the time that it deserves. It is probably the most essential thing that you can do for the well-being of your child, and that is something that should always have a high premium of attention given to it.
Think carefully about your options, and then make a choice about how to set up your estate in the best way possible.