Taking care of your family is a priority when you create an estate plan. You want to ensure that all your family members are provided for after your death by arranging the division of your assets. If you have children, you can use your estate plan to appoint guardians that will handle their care when you’re gone. Make your wishes known so that others do not decide for you.Estate Planning for Families Who Have Children with Special Needs

Estate planning increases to the utmost level of importance when you have children with special needs. Instead of making plans for minor children, you will need to make plans for them for years to come if they cannot fully support themselves.

Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs

Know what makes estate planning different when you have children with special needs, whether they are adults or minors.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Do they receive needs-based benefits?

If your child benefits from needs-based government programs to pay for their livelihood, you do not want to accidentally take those benefits away just because they receive an inheritance. Be mindful of listing a child with special needs as a beneficiary in your will unless you know the implications.

2. Will the inheritance be enough to pay for the child’s lifetime of care?

If you do choose to list your child as a beneficiary, will the money be enough to pay for insurance, therapy, housing, and cost of living for the remainder of their life? If the answer is no, you need to look into other estate planning options.

3. Are siblings trusted to inherit the money and share it with the child with special needs?

In order to avoid relinquishing the benefits of Medicaid and other programs for your child with special needs, you may list the other siblings as beneficiaries. Can you trust the siblings to take care of their special needs sister or brother without your supervision?

4. How will a Special Needs Trust help you?

A Special Needs Trust is an alternative solution. If the trust is under your child’s name, they will have access to the funds as needed. But the funds will not disqualify them from essential benefits. You can provide instruction in the fund about dispersing the funds in a calculated manner that will take care of your child, knowing they are never without comforts and needs.

Shoup Legal can help you make an estate plan that fits your family’s needs. Let us provide you with all possible options. Then, you can put plans in writing so that no one is guessing what you would have wanted. Contact us at (951) 445-4114 or by emailing [email protected].