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Estate planning for a child with special needs

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2020 | Estate Planning

Having a child who has complex medical needs or who has developmental challenges means that you need to think carefully about their future. There may come a day when they don’t have you to count on any longer. It is possible for you to plan ahead for this possibility through your estate plan. 

Getting the estate plan set for this type of situation takes a lot of consideration. One thing to remember is that you have to find a way to balance both providing for your child and making sure that your child can still meet the qualification for any need-based assistance programs they may count on. 

Some people don’t realize that there are legal ways that they can still leave an inheritance to a person who requires those types of programs. A special needs trust enables you to provide some financial backing for them without impacting their asset or income level. This is because they don’t directly control the trust. Instead, it is completely controlled by the trustee. That individual can use the trust to cover certain expenses, but there are some limitations. 

Before you set up this type of trust, you need to ensure that you understand the specifics of how it can be used and how it might impact your child. You may also need to include other components to the estate plan, such as guardianship designation, if necessary. 

Remember, most aspects of your estate plan can be changed or updated as necessary. This gives you some leeway to set things up how they need to be now. As time progresses, you may need to modify the plan so review it periodically to see if it still meets your needs. 

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