When you have a child with special needs, your child may depend on you for your entire life. As a parent, you have to prepare for a future where you may not be there. How can you ensure that you meet your child’s basic needs without you?
U.S. News explains that while many children may be able to take advantage of government programs, there are ways that you can also help.
Decide on an estate planning vehicle
When working on an estate plan that includes your child, your first step is to find the right estate planning vehicle. If you want your child to benefit from government help, you have to consider the rules of these government programs. Most programs disqualify a person if he or she has $2,000 or less in the bank.
To set aside money that does not interfere with your child’s benefits, you can use either a special needs trust or an ABLE account. With a special needs trust, the trustee controls the funds and in an ABLE account, the money can only go towards a child’s qualified expenses.
Find a trustee for your child’s trust
Setting up a trust does not affect your child’s income because he or she does not have control of the funds. When you set up a trust, you do have to pick a trustee, however. You have to trust the person to make appropriate decisions on behalf of your kid. If you want to designate another family member, make sure to ask in advance.
When you decide on an estate plan, take action as soon as possible to avoid problems later.