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Estate planning for a loved one with special needs

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2021 | Law Articles |

When you have a loved one with special needs, your preparation for the future looks unique compared to most families. While it is natural to feel overwhelmed, you can ease your concerns by creating a care plan for after you pass.

According to Fidelity, if you are the primary caregiver of a child or relative with special needs, you may need to make long-term plans to avoid mistakes later.

Appoint a legal guardian

One of the most important considerations is whether your loved one should have a guardian if something happens to you. When you establish a guardian, you should consider your loved one’s individual needs. Not everyone can be a caregiver. When you find a guardian you trust, you should create a detailed care plan so that person knows how to best care for your loved one.

Consider a trust

There are various trusts you may choose between for an individual with special needs. The most common one is the third-party special needs trust. This trust allows you to leave money for a dependent without putting the person’s government benefits at risk. The trustee does not distribute money to the dependent with a special needs trust. Instead, the trust pays for items not covered by Social Security income.

A first-party special needs trust, on the other hand, is for individuals who receive money through an inheritance. When it comes to leaving money for a person with special needs, you must be careful not to jeopardize any benefits.

Keep in mind that your loved one’s needs may change over time. You should periodically revisit your estate plan to ensure it still adequately provides for your family member.