Planning for family members with special needs can be overwhelming, particularly when so many decisions may have lifelong consequences. Beyond figuring out the intricacies of government programs, parents fret over guardianships, how governmental services may erode and what legal documents they need.
Children are raised to eventually be able to support themselves, but this isn’t always possible for kids with special needs and disabilities.
Consequently, the parents of a child with special needs must have a plan to care for their child when the parents pass away.
It is not an easy task.
Recently, the New York Times published an article on this very subject titled "Tips for the Future Care of Disabled Family Members."
The following are key points from the article:
- Get Started - The first step is to just get started. You will want to make plans to provide sufficient resources and to ensure that all of your funds will not be used for your own retirement or later-in-life care.
- Use New Tools - 529A savings plans may soon be available. They will allow you to save up to $100,000 for your child without jeopardizing your child's eligibility for government benefits.
- Trusts - Setting up a special needs trust with the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney is extremely helpful.
- Guardians - Plan carefully to appoint your child's guardian. It is often better to have two guardians, one to handle the finances and another to handle other matters.
Reference: New York Times (March 27, 2015) "Tips for the Future Care of Disabled Family Members."