Having a child is a blessing but can also be a burden to worry about their future. That worry only increases if your child has special needs. Although there have been many advancements in therapy to help not just an individual with special needs but also the family, there is no denying the financial impact it will have on a family’s budget. If it is not enough to worry about caring for a child with special needs while the parent is young and capable of working, there is always a concern as to how to take care of the child when the parent is no longer capable of working on even dies. In this article, we will discuss steps a person can take to care for their special needs child into the future, such as a special needs trust.
Determine The Type Of Care The Child Will Need
Although they may be classified as special needs, many children can function on a high level. Examples of high functioning individuals who are special needs include individuals with ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, and certain mental health issues. With proper intervention and therapy, especially if diagnosed at an early age, these children can learn to function within the norms of society. Many of these individuals can get advanced degrees, hold down careers, get married, and have families of their own. In these situations, the care needed to provide for their future might be very limited or not even needed at all.
On the other hand, some children need round-the-clock care for their special needs. Examples of these types of children are children with severe intellectual disabilities or severe forms of autism. Many of these individuals do not have the cognitive abilities to handle day-to-day activities and therefore need constant support and assistance. These are the children that parents tend to worry about needing future care.
What About Government Support?
In most cases, the child or the child’s guardian will be receiving income from the Social Security Administration under disability or supplemental security income (SSI) along with Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Although this income should continue into adulthood, the recipient might not have the capacity to know how to spend or use the money. To protect the child, a parent will want to make sure that a trusted guardian or custodian is handling the finances of the child.
Include Provisions In The Estate Planning
You can include multiple vehicles in estate preparation to secure the future for a child with special needs. For example, you can direct parts of the estate to go into a special needs trust.
*Please note that you can create a special needs trust at any time, including while the parents are alive.
What Is A Special Needs Trust?
Under Florida law, a special needs trust is a legal document that provides for a physically disabled, intellectually insufficient, or chronically ill individual. A special needs trust allows the individual to get financial support. This money helps support the individual without making them lose government benefits that they may have.
What Does A Special Needs Trust Cover?
A special needs trust is very limited in what it can cover. A special needs trust is not for day-to-day living expenses such as housing costs or clothes. Special needs trusts usually only cover the following provisions:
- Medical Expenses
- Caretaker Payments
- Transportation Expenses
How To Create A Special Needs Trust
Given the sensitive nature of a special needs trust, you need to use an experienced attorney to create one. The lawyers at Thompson Law have the expertise in both the estate planning process and assisting families with special needs. Contact Thompson Law for a consultation where we will review your family’s dynamic and give you the advice needed to ensure that your loved ones will get the care and help they need for the future.