If the worst should happen to you, do you know that your child with special needs will be protected for years to come? It is likely that you are your child’s main support system. If you are unable to be there, they will need someone else’s assistance. Creating an estate plan can ensure that person is acting in your child’s best interest.
Your estate and your child
Thanks to a change in cultural attitudes as well as formidable medical advances, people with disabilities can live long, healthy and happy lives with the proper treatment. They may need assistance in some areas but can often lead independent lives. With a comprehensive estate plan, you can support their independence even after you are gone.
Similarities and Differences
Most of your estate plan should be designed like any other estate plan. It should include:
- A power of attorney for your health and finances
- Advanced care directives
- Funeral arrangements
- Clear division of assets and property
However, your plan will also need to act as your child’s estate plan. The decisions you make for yourself you will also need to make for them. This mean that you will need to appoint people to be their executors, powers of attorney, and so on. A local special needs attorney can best explain these unique details.
Even if your child is significantly independent, assume a court will treat them as a minor in need of a guardian and protection. This can be done through the following:
- Establishing trusts and savings accounts for your child’s lifelong financial stability
- Appointing a guardianship or a conservatorship to help your child make important decisions
- Arrangements upon death
With the right attorney, an estate plan can be a flexible document that can protect you and your child for whatever may come. By researching what other families do and discussing your options with your family, you can make your final wishes known long before they are needed.