(612) 206-3701 info@lucerelegal.com

4 Questions to Help You Prepare Your Special Needs Child for Life Without You

Lucere Legal can help prepare your special needs child for life after you are gone

“What will happen to my child after I’m gone?”

That’s the question that keeps thousands of parents of children with special needs awake long into the night.

The amount of dedication they put into giving their child the good life they deserve can often seem irreplaceable, so the thought of who eventually will replace them is a source of constant anxiety. Guilt, whether for the life of the child at an in-patient care facility or for the lives of their other children who then take on the role of caring for their special needs sibling, is also a common emotion.

Fortunately, you can bring about the best possible outcome for your special needs child with a tailor made estate plan that can ensure that your child lives the best possible life after you are gone. An estate planning attorney can help you make a plan that gives your special needs child a good life, while also making sure that your other children are well attended to in your plan.

Below is a list of questions to consider that will leave you well-prepared:

    • What amount of financial support will he or she require over the rest of their life?

      Think first of the amount of support you are currently providing. Remember, this is not purely a question of dollars spent: how much of your time is devoted to their care and what could those services cost? Don’t forget to calculate the additional costs that may arise as they advance into adulthood, or even into their senior years. Lastly, take stock of your estate–how much will you be able to provide them? A life insurance policy may be the solution if your estate will not be enough to cover it all.

    • What amount of wealth will they inherit?

      There is real risk involved in receiving an inheritance while benefiting from government programs, such as Medical Assistance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The potential exists for your child to be disqualified from these benefits simply by inheriting your wealth. Fortunately, you can plan ahead of time and ensure your child need never risk crossing that line. Establishing a supplemental needs trust will help you avoid the cutoff while still providing for your child.

    • How will your other children be treated?

      Fair and equal treatment of all a family’s children in an inheritance is a high priority for many parents, yet circumstances may not always allow it. Particularly for families with a special needs child and limited financial resources, it may be an unachievable dream. If you suspect that you may not be able to leave all of your children an equal share, it is important to talk it over with them. After all, there are some things worth more than money–items of sentimental value will be passed along, as well, so create a dialogue with you children to find out what might make up for the difference.

    • Who will manage your special needs child’s finances?

      It will be necessary to name a trustee (or trustees) to manage your special needs child’s finances if you choose to establish a supplemental needs trust. You need to be sure that this person (or people) truly care about your child and will handle the assets in the trust to the child’s benefit. Don’t forget to talk this over with your chosen trustee! Make sure that he or she is ready and willing to accept the responsibilities involved.

Beyond just the financial, how do you want your child cared for after you are gone? How can you use your financial resources to ensure that actually happens? Call our office today at 612-206-3701 or reach out via our online contact form to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about this in a family estate planning consultation, where we can discuss how to build provisions into a trust that makes it more likely that your child’s care will continue in alignment with your desires, hopes and dreams for their future.

Image Courtesy of stockphotos | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Contact us to see how we can help you with Special Needs Trusts

You may also like . . .

How to Care 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...

Supplemental Needs Trusts and disabled beneficiaries

Third-party Special Needs Trusts, called Supplemental Needs Trusts in Minnesota, are set up so that a disabled person can enjoy a better quality of life while still remaining eligible for means tested government programs on which they rely for housing, medical care,...

The plain-English guide for Minnesota small business owners

When it comes to business, ignorance isn't bliss; ignorance is risk.

There's a handful of legal topics that business owners should be familiar with, at least on a rudimentary level, to reduce the risk of having something horrible come out of left field.

This book is a legal guide to help you put the most common business legal issues on your radar, with enough information for you to be on the alert for when you may need to get some professional advice.

The intention in arming you with this information is so that you can proceed in business confidently and with fewer legal quagmires.

Do you have a cabin?

The first generation that buys a cabin enjoys it to the fullest and it’s a magical place where happy memories are made and families go for some much needed respite. Unfortunately, without thoughtful planning, the chances of the cabin staying a place of happiness and tranquility into successive generations is very, very slim.

If you haven’t done the planning in advance and made it legally binding, the family members (and their ex-spouses and new spouses) will have to work every detail out for themselves. If they can’t, what is likely to happen is a lawsuit called an action for partition that forces everyone to sell their interest. This lawsuit is expensive, and the costs of litigation will come out of the proceeds of the sale of the cabin, so to add insult to injury to those who wanted to keep the cabin but couldn’t afford to buy the others out, they are footing part of the legal bills in the lawsuit against them. Ouch!

It’s no wonder that family members stop speaking for years after the cabin conflict is “resolved.” You can’t make family relationships perfect, but you can take away much of the fuel for the family conflict fire. That’s what cabin planning does, and it has the nice side effect of giving you peace of mind now.

That’s why Kimberly wrote The Minnesota Cabin Planning Guide and Workbook, and you can get a free electronic copy of her book on our cabin planning website, or you can find it in many county libraries in Minnesota, or you can get it on amazon.com.

Make An Appointment>

Join Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our newsletter list to get information and resources helpful to running your business and planning and managing your personal financial affairs delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam and won’t share your information with anyone, at anytime, ever.

Check out our podcast

The Small Business Buzz Podcast

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Please note that any information submitted in our web form is not subject to attorney client privilege and no attorney-client relationship will be created until a representation agreement has been executed.

8 + 10 =