Caring for Children With Special Needs Through Estate Planning


For many people, the basics of estate planning are simple enough, but for those families with loved ones who are disabled or have special needs, the estate planning process is more involved – and definitely more critical.


The latest statistics show that five percent of minor children have some sort of disability, and the burden of caring for these children make estate planning essential. In addition to specialized health care, these children usually need special schooling and intensive therapy, all of which come at a cost.


Here are some tips for parents facing the need to plan not only for their own financial future, but for that of a child with special needs:


Deal with expectations


Parents need to think about the kind of life they envision for their child. Will the child have a shorter life span? Will he or she be able to work or live independently? The answers to these questions will form the foundation of your plan.


Determine eligibility for public benefits


In order to meet eligibility requirements for Medicaid and Social Security Supplemental Income programs, a person with special needs or other disabilities cannot have more than $2,000 in assets. This makes it imperative that a child who could benefit from these services not have any assets titled in his or her own name – meaning they should not be listed as beneficiaries on life insurance policies, retirement accounts or plans, in trusts, wills or pensions.


Consider a special needs trust


Assets placed in a third-party special needs trust are not counted as assets toward public benefit program eligibility, but these trusts are governed by strict rules so the counsel of a lawyer in establishing this trust is necessary. Parents who are unable to fund a special needs trust with cash while they are still alive can do so through life insurance proceeds after they die.


This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.


DISCLAIMER: All information available at this website are for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney directly regarding your specific situation. Use of and access to this website or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC and any users or any other party.

BLOG

CONTACT US

 

810 Richards Street,

Suite 770,

Honolulu, HI 96813

(808) 725-3456

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook Social Icon

All information available on this website is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney directly regarding your specific situation. The use of and access to this website or the transmission of information via email or through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC and any users or any other party. Transmission of information via email or through this website may not be secure, therefore confidentiality cannot be assumed.  By using this website or transmitting information via email or this website, the user agrees to this information being collected, stored, or transmitted to a third-party.

©2020 BY LAW OFFICE OF KEONI SOUZA, LLC