Estate Planning Guide for a Special Needs Child

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Estate planning for parents with a child with special needs is simply having a financial plan to direct you in making your financial choices. It involves coming up with a goal and using techniques that will help you reach the goal.

No successful plan starts without an end in mind. Yet most estate planning attorneys never properly address the question of what the clients goals are for themselves or their children’s day-to-day life after they pass. For individuals who are prone to and maybe unable to communicate their ideas, the need to capture this vision is even more empathetic.

No one is more unique than an individual with a disability. Parents or other aids will have built up an intimate understanding of the individual. Things like important milestones, sources of comfort, favorite possessions, pet peeves, special talents, including hidden fears. If no time is taken to record this knowledge an invaluable asset will die with that parent or supporter.

One, get your clients to at least start. Even if all the answers are not readily glaring, an imperfect plan is far better than no plan. The simple act of “doing” always creates it own answers. Several clients may not have fully developed plans for all of these ideas. In some ways your legal “cart” may come before the vision “horse,” but at least your clients will be started with some protection in place.

Two, even once created a plan will be an evolving process. Government programs are modified, people, and goals change as well. The plan should change with them. It is not a failure to make further changes, it is as sigh of evolution.

The parents of a child with special needs, reduced mental capacity or whose physical challenges will stop him or her from managing his or her own affairs, will likely want to make sure that their own estate planning will address the special needs of their child. There are usually two parts to this:

The parents need to think about planning for what occurs after they both pass away. In addition, they need to plan for the unforeseen during the lifetimes of the parents. Accordingly, estate planning for the parent’s assets can be shared into the following two phases

  • Planning that will operate during the parents’ lifetimes – This is known as living or inter vivos planning and can include the following:

A Power of Attorney (or Financial Representation Agreement).

A Health Care Representation Agreement.

The establishment of a living (inter vivos) trust.

  • Planning that will become effective only on the parent’s death – This is referred to as “testamentary” planning and includes the following:

A Will.

Beneficiary designations under a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), registered retirement income fund (RRIF) or life insurance policy.

Let’s take a look at what estate planning is.

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is the process of indicating how you want your estate to be handles after your death or if you are incapacitated and unable to handle things on your own. The most common estate planning definition is “the process of making plans for the management and transfer of your estate after your death, using a will, trust, insurance policies and/ or other devices. “ Estate planning has been around for several years, but is becoming very common.

Need an estate planning attorney?

Planning an estate can be a complicated process. It involves a lot of paperwork and legal documents like power of attorney, trust, will, etc. Thus, if you want to plan your estate the right way, it is important that you contact a professional.

An estate planning attorney can help you in several ways. This professional can help you plan your estate and help you create the necessary estate planning documents. If you need to update your estate plan, this professional can be of help as well. Also, if you have concerns or questions, contacting an estate planning attorney is the best way to find answers.

We boast of competent estate planning attorneys who can help you navigate the tough estate planning process. Simple get in touch with our office so we can offer you or your loved ones our professional services.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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