As a parent of a special needs child, you know that your child may need to continue to receive care throughout his or her life. Unfortunately, it may also mean you will not always be there to provide that care.
To ensure your child has adequate care, you have to start preparing as early as possible.
Consider your child’s needs and abilities
When planning for your child’s future, you must consider his or her needs. Would your child cope better in an assisted living facility or do you want him or her to live with a guardian? When choosing a guardian, it should be someone who your child trusts and that understands your child’s condition.
In addition to a guardian, you may also have to consider caretakers. Does your child need a live-in caretaker or someone to come multiple times weekly to provide care? Discuss your child’s needs with potential guardians to determine who you trust.
Prepare for your child’s financial future within a guardianship
While you may choose a person as your child’s guardian, you might still want to prepare for his or her financial future. If your child receives SSI or Medicaid, but you want to leave him or her money, you have to shield the assets. For instance, you need to establish a trust so the money does not affect your child’s income.
When choosing a trustee, you can select a third party to assign the guardian as the trustee. Some parents choose a financial advisor to care for a trust.
Special needs planning allows you to feel confident about what will happen to your child if something happens to you.