Estate Read Time: 3 min

4 Steps to Protecting a Child with Disabilities

Raising a child is expensive and can cost about a quarter of a million dollars, excluding college. For a child with special needs, that cost can more than double. If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, it’s vital to ensure your child will continue to be provided for after you’re gone. It can be difficult to contemplate, but with patience, love, and perseverance, a long-term strategy may be attainable.1,2

Envisioning a Life After You

Just as every child with special needs is unique, so too are the challenges families face when preparing for the long term. Think about the potential needs of your child. Will they require daily custodial care? Ongoing medical treatments? Will your child live alone or in a group home? Can family members assume some of the care? Answers to these and other questions can help form the vision of what may need to be done to plan for your child’s care.

Preparing Your Estate

Without proper preparation, your child’s lifetime needs can quickly outstrip your funds. One resource is government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, which your child may qualify for depending on their situation. Because such government programs have low-asset thresholds for qualification, you may want to consider whether to make property transfers to your child with special needs.

You should also make sure you have an up-to-date will that reflects your wishes. Consider creating a special needs trust, the assets of which can be structured to fund your child’s care without disqualifying them from government assistance. Using a trust involves a complex set of tax rules and regulations. Before moving forward with a trust, consider working with a professional who is familiar with the rules and regulations.

Involve the Family

All affected family members should be involved in the decision-making process. If at all possible, it’s best to have a unified front of surviving family members to care for your child after you’ve passed on.

Identify a Caregiver

In order for a caregiver to make financial and health care decisions after your child reaches adulthood, the caregiver must be appointed as a guardian. This can take time, so start setting this in motion as soon as you are able.

To do this, you can write a “Letter of Intent” to the caregiver and family to express your wishes along with information about your child’s care. This isn’t a legal document, but it may help communicate your desires. Store this letter in a safe place, alongside your will.

Outlining an approach for a child with special needs can be complicated, but you don’t have to do it alone. Working with loved ones and qualified professionals can help you navigate the various facets of this challenge. If we can help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

1. Investopedia.com, January 9, 2022
2. AmericanAdvocacyGroup.com, May 3, 2022

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

Infographic: Women Are Financially Savvy

Infographic: Women Are Financially Savvy

Women Are Financially Savvy. Yet, there are still unique challenges working against women in retirement.

7 Ways to Show Your Appreciation for Mom this May

7 Ways to Show Your Appreciation for Mom this May

For the unsung heroes who raised us, protected us, encouraged us and cleaned up after us, now is the chance to express our gratitude.

The Importance of Business Valuation

The Importance of Business Valuation

You know your company inside and out. But do you know how much it’s actually worth on the open market?

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Navigating Retirement Pitfalls

Why are they made again and again? Making sense of these errors in judgement.

Bulletproofing Your Business

Small businesses are at risk when they lose a key employee. Here’s how you can protect yourself.

Earnings for All Seasons

Earnings season can move markets. What is it and why is it important?

View all articles

Estimate Your RMD

Help determine the required minimum distribution from an IRA or other qualified retirement plan.

Comparing Mortgage Terms

Estimate the total cost in today's dollars of various mortgage alternatives.

Inflation & Retirement

Estimate how much income may be needed at retirement to maintain your standard of living.

View all calculators

Managing Your Lifestyle

Using smart management to get more of what you want and free up assets to invest.

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

View all presentations

The Wild West of Data Theft

Learn about cyber liability insurance in this entertaining video.

Saving for College 101

Here’s a crash course on saving for college.

When Do You Need a Will?

When do you need a will? The answer is easy: Right Now.

View all videos