If you have a child with special needs, a big part of your estate planning is likely setting up a special needs trust and other systems to support the child when you can no longer do so. You understand that your role as a parent is different than most, and your child may need life-long care. The trust can help to provide that for as long as possible.
If you have a child with special needs, you may have to care for that child for the rest of their life. You love your child, but that does not mean this isn't taxing and difficult at times. It's a full-time job. It comes with many hurdles you have to overcome. It helps to define your life in ways you never expected.
Imagine that you want to use a trust as a part of your estate plan in order to protect the inheritances of your minor children. To put it bluntly, you don't want the inheritances of your children to be vulnerable to another family member -- like the guardian of the children -- taking them. Unfortunately, this can happen if both parents die and they leave behind a sizable inheritance for their child. The children's guardian could potentially spend the child's money for the guardian's own benefit.
It is not always immediately clear that a child has special needs, nor do these issues impact all children in exactly the same way. Two children may suffer from the same type of disorder and see vastly different levels of severity, differences in how well these needs can be overcome and different physical or mental changes as they grow older.
If a child or another loved one has a disability, you may want to consider the benefits of creating a special needs trust. There are many reasons to learn more, including the fact that the use of a trust could help this person long after you are gone.
When you hear about a third-party special needs trust, the term "third-party" refers to the trust as a tertiary entity that will provide for the needs of the special needs person. The benefit of a federally-approved special needs trust is the fact that it will not disqualify the beneficiary from receiving government aid and other financial assistance.
Setting up a special needs trust is virtually a necessity for parents of children with special needs. Having one in place means that your child will benefit from solid financial resources, be able to afford the level of care that he or she deserves and still qualify for valuable government benefits.
A special needs child is a child who requires specific care. In many cases, special needs children need to be cared for after they become adults, and they never become fully independent. In other cases, special needs children require costly medical services and round-the-clock attention to ensure that they're healthy and happy.
Parents of special needs children may want to create a special needs trust to provide for their kids in the event the parents die or become incapacitated. Such a trust brings a great deal of peace of mind. Because it will allay the all-encompassing fear of "Who's going to take care of my child when I'm gone?", a special needs trust should be a part of every estate plan belonging to a parent caring for a child with a severe disability.
A conservatorship may be needed if your adult parent becomes incapacitated in some way that prevents him or her from making important life decisions. For example, you might have a parent with dementia that progresses to the point that he or she requires your constant attention and care. If your incapacitated parent has not designated a caretaker with a financial or health care power of attorney, establishing a conservatorship could be a wise move.