Estate planning is important for any family to help prepare for an unknown future. But, for children with special needs, estate planning is critical to financial stability and wellbeing. A bit of preparation now can save your family from making difficult decisions without understanding your wishes for your child.

The Importance of Planning Ahead

According to the National Organization on Disability, nearly 54 million Americans have special needs and must cope with rising associated expenses. Fortunately, there are government and state-level assistance programs for children and adults with disabilities. But, sometimes, inheritance can impact the assistance they could receive later in life.

This is why it’s critical to plan ahead when it comes to matters of estate. To help protect your child, you’ll need to take extra care when developing your plan.

Elements Your Estate Plan Should Include to Best Protect Your Child

Your estate plan should include a will that outlines your wishes including inheritance and who might be the primary caretaker of your child. Before you begin the creation of your will, there are some elements to consider.

Services your child might require: It’s important to consider the services your child might need including vocational services, counseling or healthcare. You’ll want to make sure these services are included in your plan so family members know how to move forward.
Your child’s primary caretaker: If your child will need to rely on a primary caretaker, you’ll need to set this forth in your estate plan. It’s best to make this decision now to avoid confusion in the future.
Present and future finances: Chances are, your child will qualify for assistance through federal or state programs. But, you’ll need to outline the distribution of your assets in a way that benefits your child best. It’s important to understand your finances to prepare for proper allocation in the future.

Some estate plans include special needs trusts that allow a trustee to manage your child’s finances. This will keep your inheritance from damaging your child’s state and federal assistance. But, to ensure you do what’s best for your child, you should consider reaching out to a professional for legal counsel.

Estate Planning Can Make All the Difference in Your Child’s Future

Estate planning for your child can be difficult to understand, especially with so many factors involved. Preparation is the key to protecting your child after you’re gone. To learn more about estate planning, reach out to us by sending us a message.

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