Making estate plans is important for everyone, but it’s especially crucial if you have a loved one with special needs. Without an estate plan in place, your loved one may not receive appropriate care.
What is special needs estate planning?
This refers to a set of legal tools used to provide for the long-term care and financial security of an individual with special needs. It includes estate planning documents, trusts, guardianships and other strategies that are tailored specifically to your loved one’s unique needs. It’s important to note that estate planning for special needs isn’t just about money – it also includes making sure that your loved one gets taken care of emotionally, physically and socially.
What documents are relevant for special needs planning?
The documents that are necessary for special needs planning vary depending on the individual’s unique situation and goals. However, one of the most important estate planning documents is a will. This document allows you to designate who should receive your estate when you pass away, as well as specify which assets should go to your loved one with special needs and how they should get managed. Another estate planning document to consider is a trust, an estate planning tool that can help you ensure that your loved one with special needs gets the funds necessary for their long-term care and stability.
Finally, durable powers of attorney may also be needed in order to designate someone as a guardian who can make decisions on behalf of your loved one if you become incapacitated or pass away.
Therefore, whether it’s an adult or child with special needs, estate planning is a critical step in making sure that your loved one will be taken care of after you’re gone. Just remember that it’s important to consider the long-term impact of any decisions that you make. For example, you need to understand how taxes may impact the estate and consider other estate planning strategies that can reduce or avoid estate taxes.