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Planning for special needs: Don’t assume what will happen, know

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2022 | Estate Planning |

When you take care of someone who has special needs or who is differently abled, you may feel that it’s common sense that their sibling or family member will provide for them if you cannot do so any longer. That’s isn’t necessarily how others feel, though, and not accounting for what others would do if left for care for your child or family member could mean that their future is uncertain.

Your estate plan should be set up in a way that helps establish a guardianship and provide for your loved one even when you’re incapacitated or have passed away. Instead of making an assumption that others will take over caring for the person with special needs, make certain that someone will.

How does a special needs trust help a loved one with special needs?

The nice thing about a special needs trust is that it enables you to help your loved one get the financial support and assets they need without negatively impacting their access to public benefits and funds.

A special needs trust can be beneficial in that you can send your life insurance policy to it, for example, and have the funds held for your child or loved one with special needs. Instead of giving them the money directly, you can establish times when the money would or would not pay out. For example, you may set up the fund to pay for their rent each month or to pay out only a certain dollar amount, so they have the money they need to live comfortably while still receiving their benefits.

Establishing a guardianship may be helpful to those in your care

If someone is your dependent, then you should have a guardianship established in your estate plan. Talk to your loved ones, friends and family to work out who will care for the person with special needs when you cannot do so any longer. Establish the person or people who are willing to take on that role as guardians in your estate plan, so there will be no surprises in the future.

These are a few things to do to plan for your loved one’s special needs care in the future. Don’t assume that they’ll be cared for, make sure they are by taking legal actions.