Ensuring the Future: Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs

A happy boy in a wheelchair smiling and laughing in a rehabilitation centerIn this article, you can discover:

  • The necessity of a Special Needs Trust for guardianship.
  • The importance of long-term planning for adulthood needs.
  • The consequences of lacking proper estate documents.
What Estate Planning Documents Are Necessary In Order To Set Up A Guardian For Our Child With Special Needs?

To ensure the well-being of your child with special needs, establishing a Special Needs Trust is essential. As parents, you’ll act as trustees during your lifetime and appoint a successor trustee – the person who you envision will act as the guardian for your child. After your passing, the successor trustee typically takes over seamlessly. However, if needed, they can petition the court to be officially appointed as the guardian. Courts generally honor this request, respecting the clear intent of the parents.

Why Is It Important To Consider Long-Term Needs In Our Estate Planning For Our Child With Special Needs As He Or She Grows Into Adulthood?

As your child transitions from childhood to adulthood, their needs evolve. While Medicaid covers basic living expenses, it falls short in providing for a more comfortable lifestyle. A Special Needs Trust steps in to bridge this gap. It ensures that as your child’s needs grow, the trust can cover expenses beyond Medicaid’s scope, maintaining a quality standard of living.

What Happens If We Do Not Have Proper Estate Planning Documents In Place That Clearly Lay Out Who Will Care For Our Child With Special Needs?

In the absence of clear estate planning, the Department of Social Services (DSS) may intervene upon a parent’s death, taking temporary custody of your child, regardless of their age. The court will then appoint a guardian who may not align with your wishes. Furthermore, without a Special Needs Trust, your child’s inheritance could be depleted before Medicaid assistance kicks in, leaving them financially vulnerable.

At What Stage In Our Lives Should Guardianship Be Set Up For A Minor Child With Special Needs Should We Become Incapacitated Or Deceased?

It’s advisable to establish a Special Needs Trust for your child as early as possible, ideally when you’re in a strong financial position. By appointing a successor trustee, you ensure a seamless transition in care for your child, whether due to your incapacity or passing. This proactive approach provides peace of mind, knowing your child’s needs will be met by someone you trust.

For more information on Planning For A Child With Special Needs, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (864) 271-7940 today.

Office Location

11 McGee Street
Greenville, SC 29601

Phone: (864) 271-7940
Fax: (864) 370-3413
Toll Free: 1-800-216-1116