Trust administration attorneys at Parman & Easterday provide parents with planning for the care of a child with special needs. When you have a child with special needs, the estate planning process should begin as soon as possible to ensure your child will be provided and cared for appropriately if something happens to you. You need to ensure you have planned for the child’s care throughout your lifetime, including making certain your child can afford necessary care as an adult.
Parman & Easterday can help. Our trust administration attorneys will walk you through the entire planning process for your special needs child, including updating your plans as needed in different stages of life. To find out more about how our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team can assist you, and to learn about the legal tools you can use to provide for your child with special needs, give us a call today.
Making Plans for Your Child With Special Needs
There are a number of key issues you need to address as a parent if your child cannot live independently.
The first issue will be to determine where your child will live when you can no longer provide care. Sometimes, children will live with a non-disabled sibling or another relative when parents are no longer around. However, this is not always an option. If the child cannot live with another relative, parents need to explore options for a group home or similar type facility where the child can live in adulthood after leaving the parents’ home.
Care facilities can be expensive. Obtaining sufficient life insurance could ensure there is money available to pay for the care of a child with a disability during his adult life.
Even if the disabled child is to live in a care facility, parents should name a legal guardian to act on behalf of and make decisions for the disabled child. A legal guardian should be a trusted person who the parents believe will fulfill his or her fiduciary duty and have the best interests of the disabled child at heart.
Parents also need to think about how to structure an inheritance. Most parents want to provide financially for the disabled child, even after the parents are gone. However, it is not advisable to transfer money or property to the child with the disability. This could result in the child losing access to important means-tested benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid, which many disabled people rely on to cover their costs of care.
Parents should create a special needs trust to make sure a child with disabilities is provided for without risking loss of benefits. The special needs trust can own assets left by the parents and can also be the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. The parents name a trustee to manage the trust assets and provide detailed instructions about how trust assets are to be used to enhance the quality of life of the child with the disability.
Because the trust actually owns the assets, not the child with the disabling condition, Medicaid or other benefits will not be lost and the trust assets can be used to provide for supplemental needs not covered by government benefits.
Getting Help from Trust Administration Attorneys
Trust administration attorneys at Parman & Easterday can provide invaluable advice on providing for your child with special needs. We can help you secure sufficient life insurance, name an appropriate guardian for your child, create a special needs trust, and otherwise take steps to ensure your child will always be cared for even when you are no longer here.
To find out more about how our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team can help you and your family prepare for the future, join us for a free seminar. You can also call today at (405) 843-6100 or contact us online at any time.