Estate Planning When You Have a Special Needs Child

If you have a child with special needs, it becomes even more important to have a proper estate plan in place. You want to ensure that your child is taken care of after you’re gone. It’s essential to schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney soon to discuss your wishes.

Here are some planning tips for special needs.

Don’t Worry About Providing Equal Inheritances to All Your Children

If you have multiple children, you might think that it’s only fair to give them the exact same inheritances. However, if one of your children is special needs, he or she may realistically need more assistance than your other children. It’s perfectly acceptable to give the majority of your assets to your special needs child when your other children are self-sufficient. It may be a good idea to sit down with your children beforehand and explain your choice. That way, there will be no surprises later on.

Select the Trustee of the Special Needs Trust Carefully

The trustee of a special needs trust will be responsible for ensuring the funds are used to take care of your child. The person you choose should be responsible, honest, organized and communicative. If you can’t find a family member to fulfill the role, consider naming an attorney as trustee.

Write a Letter of Intent

When you’re gone, you want your special need child’s life to remain as normal as possible. That’s why you should include a letter of intent in your estate plan. This letter should specify your child’s likes, dislikes and other important matters concerning the special needs child. For example, if your child is scared of thunderstorms and needs to be hugged tightly whenever there is a thunderstorm, include that in the letter.

Think About Funding Special Needs Trust With Life Insurance

If you’re trying to think of ways to fund a special needs trust, consider using your life insurance policy. Life insurance policies are useful tools when a special needs fund is named beneficiary.

Plan for Your Incapacitation 

If you should become mentally or physically incapacitated in the future, you want to ensure that your special needs child’s best interests taken care of. Consider including a provision to allow your agent to make discretionary distributions for the benefit of your child.

If you have further questions about planning for a special needs child, schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer in Sacramento, CA. He or she can help you create a solid estate plan that ensures your wishes are carried out.

Thanks to Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and special needs children.

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