As the parent of a special needs child (a developmental or intellectual disability that requires additional support), you know there are many tasks and responsibilities required daily to protect your child. There are also 3 estate planning concerns that you should address immediately.
- Appoint a guardian. Make sure you have a validly executed Last Will and Testament that appoints an appropriate guardian to gain legal custody of your special needs child should you (and your spouse) pass away unexpectedly. Without this in place, the court will appoint a guardian that it determines is in the best interests of the child. That determination may not be what you want or would choose for your child.
- Appoint a trustee. Set up a special needs trust and appoint a trustee to manage the financial details for your special needs child. The protection and administration of assets and wealth for your child is the key to protecting your child long-term.
- Protect Public Benefits. If your child is currently eligible, or likely to be eligible in the future, for SSI or Medicaid (or any other public benefits), an unexpected inheritance or gift to your child will likely disqualify him or her from those benefits. You can protect those benefits with a Special Needs Trust or testamentary trust within a will.
For assistance in implementing these 3 action steps to protect your Special Needs Child, please contact Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area at 443-470-3599.