Planning for Children with Special Needs – Part I Introduction

Disclaimer: You should always check with your financial or legal professional before estate or financial planning especially when dealing with as sensitive and advanced subject such as Children with Special Needs.

I have no idea the reason, but I love estate planning and I hope that enthusiasm comes through on this blog.  There is something about creating a plan that:

  • Distributes a client’s assets pursuant to their testamentary intent;
  • Helps out a generation (or two) receive assets in an orderly manner;
  • Minimizes taxes so the family increases the amount that goes to their pockets of those you love.

There is a particular situation that affects many more families then one would expect – where one or more of the children have some sort of special need.  For purposes of our discussion (in this part and subsequent parts), those referred to having special needs will have some sort of diminished physical or mental capacity.

Extra Attention Needs to be Taken when Planning for a Child with Special Needs

Extra special care needs to be taken care of when planning for a child with special needs.  Easy Example: You are married; Have 3 children  – 1 of which is on government benefits and 2 which are not; both Spouses pass away…what happens? Some questions which need to be planned for:

  • Does anyone know how to care for the child?  I know of some families with an autistic child that if you don’t do the bedtime activities in the right order, that kid is not going to bed!
  • Have plans when that child turns 18 and becomes a legal adult?
  • How is going to inherit their share?
  • Are you going to disinherit that child and hope that the other children take care of him or her? What happens if that spouse gets divorced – that amount might be subject to a divorce proceeding?
  • Are you going to give that child their share and watch (hopefully from above) your hard earned money get shifted to the government?

These are just some of the questions I hope to answer in this multipart series.  I only ask two things:

  1. If you know anyone with a child with a special needs SHARE!
  2. If you have any questions ASK!

5 Responses to Planning for Children with Special Needs – Part I Introduction

  1. Grace says:

    I do hope you will include a post about Special Needs Trusts. And remind folks that special needs children includes those with emotional handicaps, drug issues, and a wide variety of other needs. I wrote about this back in 2007 on my blog. See http://gracefulretirement.blogspot.com/2007/06/ne

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