If you have children with special needs, you understand the importance of continued care and financial support. What would happen if you became disabled or died unexpectedly? Who would be responsible for managing your children’s care? And how would that care be paid for? Estate planning for families is generally important, but estate planning for children with special needs is absolutely critical.
Identifying Goals & Requirements
The requirements of every family and child are different. Your estate plan should take into account your unique situation and preferences. Do you have children both with and without special needs? How will you divide up assets for each child? Should some receive more/less, or should they all be treated equally? What other financial factors, such as public benefits, should be considered when it comes to each child? Sit down with your family to discuss these factors and to identify the primary goals and requirements of your estate plan.
Compiling Critical Information
Quite a bit of information relates to caring for children with special needs. You may know it all like the back of your hand, but how will that information would be relayed to others if you are not there? It is best to be prepared. Create a file ahead of time with details on health care providers, insurance, medical history, medications, schedules, identification (i.e. social security numbers and birth certificates), etc. Keep these in a secure yet accessible location.
Establishing a Trust
A trust is a key component to MA estate planning for children with special needs. It can provide for lifetime care of special needs children. Some trusts offer flexibility in the use of funds while others cover only certain expenses. If your children are likely to qualify for SSI benefits, your trust should be structured differently to ensure they remain qualified for those benefits.
Attorneys for MA Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs
As you can see from the information above, there are different considerations and approaches to MA estate planning for children with special needs. It is important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to design a plan that meets your specific goals and requirements. Furthermore, that plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to adapt to any changes to your financial situation or your children’s medical care. With the right plan in place, your children will be well cared when you are no longer there to do so personally.