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Principled Advocacy For Families And Individuals With Disabilities And The Professionals Who Serve Them

What is unique about special needs planning?

| Dec 15, 2020 | Estate Planning

Every parent needs to ensure they have an estate plan to help transfer their assets to their children effectively. If you are the parent of a child with special needs, it is even more crucial.

Special needs children need additional financial help

Special needs planning requires extra care due to your child’s disability or mental illness. There are three main reasons:

  • Your child may not be able to work: If your child cannot earn an income, it is even more vital to ensure they have the financial means to survive after you.
  • They may incur extra medical expenses: If your child needs assistance with their daily life, they need to fund it. Depending on their specific condition, they may also require costly additional medical treatment or drugs.
  • They might not manage finances well: Leaving money to any child can be a risk. If your child has a mental illness, the risk may increase. They may not have the skills or the capability to calculate finances. They might be more susceptible to the influence of others who do not have their best interests at heart.

While your child with special needs might be the principal focus of your estate planning, do not forget yourself and any other children you have. The cost of caring for a special needs child can become expensive quickly. There is government-funded help with medical expenses available. However, if you do not structure your finances correctly, you could harm your child’s entitlement to this. If they fail the benefits mean tests, health care providers could soon drain your resources, leaving nothing for you or your other children.