Tips for Protecting Children with Disabilities in Your Estate Plan
If you are the parent of a child with a disability, you must ensure you can continue looking out for your child’s best interests, even when you are no longer here. Without the proper stipulations in place in your estate plan, your child with special needs or disabilities could be left vulnerable.
Below are some examples of estate planning considerations to keep in mind if you have a disabled child:
- Choosing a guardian: It is imperative to select a guardian for your child if he or she is still a minor or incapable of living independently. This person should be someone you feel confident can provide excellent care to your child. Your guardian should know that he or she has been chosen for this role and should be prepared to take it on, if necessary.
- Special needs trust: Special needs trusts are mechanisms specifically designed for beneficiaries who have disabilities. These trusts allow you to transfer assets to your child without affecting his or her ability to collect government assistance, such as disability or unemployment benefits. This is because the inheritance is technically the property of the trust — not the child.
- Conditional gifts: There are ways you can add conditions to gifts you leave behind in a will so that your child continues to receive the resources he or she needs. You may use this strategy as a supplement to a special needs trust.
To learn more about how you can use your estate plan to care for your child with disabilities well into the future, speak with a dedicated Florida estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.