MooneyOnMoney.com

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

How Financial Decision-Making is Like Camping

How Financial Decision-Making is Like Camping

It takes a plan to be successful when you head into the wilderness. Your finances are no different.

Forecast

Forecast

The market is as unpredictable as the weather. We’d love to help you prepare.

How to Jump-Start Your Financial Strategy for Retirement

How to Jump-Start Your Financial Strategy for Retirement

Get on track to creating the retirement you want. Here are seven financial strategies to take now to help you.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Medicare vs. Medicaid

The terms Medicare and Medicaid sound similar but are two very different things. Learn the differences in this informative article.

Replacing Your Medicare Card

Learn how to replace your lost, stolen, or damaged Medicare card in this helpful article.

Protecting Your Home Against Flood Loss

Protect yourself against the damage that your homeowners policy doesn’t cover.

View all articles

What Is My Risk Tolerance?

This questionnaire will help determine your tolerance for investment risk.

Comparing Investments

This calculator compares the net gain of a taxable investment versus a tax-favored one.

What Is My Current Net Worth?

Use this calculator to estimate your net worth by adding up your assets and subtracting your liabilities.

View all calculators

5 Smart Investing Principles

Principles that can help create a portfolio designed to pursue investment goals.

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.

View all presentations

When Markets React

When markets shift, experienced investors stick to their strategy.

The Why, What and How of Life Insurance

The Why, What and How of Life Insurance

Dog Bites and Homeowners Insurance

Reviewing coverage options is just one thing responsible pet parents can do to help look out for their dogs.

View all videos