When parents create a new estate plan, their primary concern is usually for the well-being of their children. This concern can typically be addressed through common estate planning documents used for families. However, when one of the children suffers from a disability, planning for the future becomes a little more complicated. The estate plan may need to be set up to provide for the child, without giving up too much control over the assets. This may have to do with either the child’s ability to manage the funds or his ability to continue receiving certain government services.
Following are three ways parents can use estate planning documents to provide for their disabled children:
- Utilize a will to nominate a guardian or conservator to care for your child. Guardians can control where the child resides, as well as consent to and approve of medical care. A conservator has a fiduciary duty over the child’s financial matters.
- Utilize a financial power of attorney to grant someone access to your financial affairs in the event you are unavailable or incapacitated. This can help ensure that there are funds available to care for the child.
- Set up a special needs trust in order to leave an inheritance to your child. The trust can maintain a level of control over the assets while still allowing your child to reap the benefits. If set up correctly, the trust can benefit the child without affecting his ability to receive certain types of government assistance.
Using a will, power of attorney, and trust can allow parents to properly take care of their disabled children without having to worry about impacting their benefits or giving up too much control over the assets. If you are trying to create an estate plan to provide for a child with disabilities, call our office today to discuss your situation.