Most parents take for granted that their children will grow up and live independently. However, for parents of children with disabilities and high support needs, this is often not the reality.
If your child requires lifelong care, you should consider the expenses in your estate planning.
Lifelong care for your child
Designating a caregiver for your child is important, but it is only one step in the process. You must also consider your child’s living expenses.
There are many items essential to your child’s daily life that insurance does not cover. These may include:
- Mobility aids
- Adaptive furniture and clothing
- Home modifications
- Communication devices
A special needs trust can ensure that your child can continue to afford these necessary items.
Benefits of a special needs trust
Many people mistakenly believe that if they have a will, that is sufficient protection for a special needs child or dependent adult. However, a special needs trust has some advantages compared to a will.
Access to funds
Your will must clear probate before your beneficiaries can receive the funds. A trust is exempt from the probate process, so your child can access the money when he or she needs it.
A special needs trust allows you to assign a trustee to use the funds for your child’s needs. By choosing an ethical and trustworthy person to act as the trustee, you can protect your child from financial abuse and exploitation.
Impact on government benefits
People with disabilities must often tread carefully when it comes to finances. Fortunately, if you structure your special needs trusts properly, it will not affect your child’s eligibility for SSI benefits.
By establishing a special needs trust, you can be confident that your child will receive the best care even after you are gone.