Creating a plan for the care of your children after your death may seem morbid, but it is actually the opposite. You want to ensure that should the unthinkable occur, your kids will thrive.
When you have a child with a disability or special need, this process becomes even more critical. Since these children may remain with their parents for the length of their lives, your estate plan must account for their care as juveniles and through adulthood. Take a look at some ways you can build a strategy that protects your family best.
Start a trust
An essential element of estate planning, especially for parents, is the trust. This financial tool can hold assets for dependents for use in paying for their continued care. A trust is a more secure way to make sure that money you have set aside gets to its intended beneficiary in the proper manner. You appoint an administrator over the trust who makes conditional withdrawals on behalf of dependents. Creating a trust can safeguard your children's future better than leaving an inheritance in the hands of a caregiver.
Designate a guardian
You need someone to look after your children, especially children who may need care through adulthood. Designating a guardian is an important step in your estate plan. Doing so can bring about peace of mind that your children receive care of in your absence. Speak to the person or people you would like to act as guardian, so they accept the honor willingly.
Revisit your estate plan regularly
Because you have a child who may need long-term care, it is imperative that you sit down with your attorney and review your plan at regular intervals. Circumstances change regularly, and you do not want to leave your family in a bind should you have assets not incorporated in a trust or should your child's medical condition change.
Ensuring your family gets the care necessary after your death can help alleviate stress for everyone. If you have a special needs child, this process becomes even more critical.