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Special Needs Planning

One of the best parts of my practice is when I have the opportunity to assist parents of a child with special needs. A concern of all parents, (but especially parents of special needs children) is what will happen to their child/children if something happens to them (parents become disabled or die) and they are unable to care for their child/children.

A typical scenario for parents considering their estate planning is how to leave their estates to their children. When the children are still minors it is best to do so in a trust for the benefit of the child. Then (if the parents so choose) the trust assets may be distributed directly to the child at a time when the parents feel the child is an adult and will be responsible with the money.

Parents of children with special needs must consider other factors. A major difference is that the need for care may continue for the special needs child’s entire life and will often incorporate social and government programs and benefits. These programs and benefits may become negatively effected or lost if the child is given money or directly inherits any money from the parents or other individuals. Thus it is very important that parents, grandparents, siblings, and other family and friends find alternatives for leaving gifts or their estates to children with special needs.

One very popular and very effective solution is to use a special needs trust which is specifically designed to address these unique issues and concerns.

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