Creating an Estate Plan with Special Needs Children
Ensure Your Special Needs Loved One Gets the Life They Deserve
Perhaps one of the most important and difficult estate planning actions you can take is preparing for the care of a special needs child or adult. Knowing how much physical, financial and emotional energy it takes to care for your loved one, it can be difficult to imagine how they will get the support they need to live a fulfilling and rich life once you’re gone. The estate planning attorneys at Angermeier & Rogers can make sure your loved one has exactly the level of care they deserve.
What do I need to decide about my special needs child’s future?
- Who will care for your loved one on a daily basis?
- Who will be responsible for making medical decisions on their behalf?
- Where will they live?
- How will others know about my loved one’s daily routines, medications and other unique needs?
- Will leaving them an inheritance disqualify them from receiving government benefits?
How do I make my wishes known about my special needs child’s life?
The first step is to select one or two people whom you believe best understand your child’s needs, and specify them in your will. This can be a sibling, close family friend, or any other person who is familiar with your loved one and can give them the care they require. You may also select multiple guardians to handle financial decisions and day-to-day care separately. The estate planning attorneys at Angermeier & Rogers can help you name guardians in your will and make sure that legal guardianship is seamlessly transferred.
Giving guardianship of your special needs child to the right people is important, but equally important is leaving detailed instructions for them. Those responsible for care will need to know your loved one’s:
- Medical history and any current conditions or medications
- Friends and their contact information
- Favorite hobbies and activities
- Any government benefits that your loved one receives
- Any final wishes, hopes or desires about your child receiving the greatest opportunity to live a rich and fulfilling life.
Establishing a Special Needs Trust
Securing your special needs child’s financial future rests on establishing a special needs trust. This special trust ensures the inheritance you leave them doesn’t disqualify them from receiving any government benefits, while also specifying that the money can only be used for the care of your loved one. The estate planning attorneys at Angermeier & Rogers are experienced trust administrators.
The Risks of Failing to Plan
If you neglect to lay out a clear and thorough plan for your special needs child’s future with a competent estate planning attorney, these decisions will be left up to a judge with no previous experience or knowledge of your child or their situation.