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A guide to estate planning for parents of special needs children

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2023 | Estate Planning

For parents of special needs children, ensuring their well-being and security is a top priority. One aspect that you should not overlook is estate planning.

This process involves making arrangements to protect your child’s financial future, healthcare and overall quality of life.

Establish a trust fund

A trust fund is a financial tool that allows you to set aside assets for your child’s future needs. According to the NCES, in the 2021-22 school year, there were 7.3 million children with special needs between the ages of 3 and 21. Parents of these children should plan for their kid’s future in the event something happens to them.  A trust fund provides a designated person, the trustee as the authority to manage these resources on your child’s behalf.

Specify guardianship

In your estate plan, clearly identify who will take on the role of guardian for your special needs child if you are unable to care for them. This individual will be responsible for making important decisions regarding your child’s daily life, healthcare and education.

Outline special instructions

Detail specific instructions about your child’s care and needs in your estate plan. Provide complete information about their medical conditions, dietary requirements, medications and any other essential routines.

Designate a power of attorney

A power of attorney grants someone the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. In this case, appoint a trusted individual to handle financial matters and legal affairs related to your child’s well-being.

Consider government benefits

Special needs children often rely on government assistance programs. By carefully structuring your estate plan, you can ensure that your child continues to receive these benefits while still having access to their trust fund.

Review and update your plan regularly

Life is constantly changing, and so are your child’s needs. Regularly revisit and update your estate plan to reflect any alterations in your financial situation, your child’s condition or your preferences regarding their care.

Taking the steps to set up a trust fund can offer peace of mind, knowing that you have taken every precaution to guarantee your child’s well-being.