It can be easy for parents to focus solely on the wellbeing of their child and leave personal planning on the back burner. But as discussed in a Today’s Caregiver article, “Planning for the Future with a Special Needs Child – Part 2,”, parents of special needs children must plan for themselves as well as for their child beyond their lifetime.
It is possible to securely plan for both, with the help of an experienced estate and special needs planning attorney and financial planner. For parents, it’s helpful to have a personal long-term plan in place not only to protect yourself, but also to ensure you don’t place a burden on your family and loved ones.
Here are three tips for personal planning for the future:
- Start your estate planning now. Your estate plan isn’t just a collection of documents; it’s a way to take care of your family. It’s especially important to plan when you have a special needs child. Should anything happen to you, would you have a guardian in place? Would assets pass outright to a special needs child, jeopardizing eligibility for government benefits? Make sure you work with an experienced estate planning and special needs attorney to create a plan and ensure all assets are aligned with the plan.
- Look into long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance can minimize the strain on your assets, should you need care as you age. The best time to look into a policy? Around age 50. At that age, you’re likely to be healthy enough to pass any medical tests, but at an age where you won’t be contributing to a policy you won’t need. Especially if you’ll want to preserve assets for a special needs trust, you’ll want to take a serious look at long-term care insurance. Long-term care expenses have seen a steep rise over the past decades, so this is a wise planning move for most couples.
- Seek advice. You’ll want to work with experienced estate planning and financial professionals. Many planning techniques that are practical for those without a special needs child are not as effective or are even detrimental when planning for a special needs beneficiary. Especially for younger planners, some of the traditional strategies may not be practical. An experienced estate planning and special needs attorney and financial professional can help ensure you make the right financial and estate planning decisions.
In the end, while planning for a special needs beneficiary comes with some additional challenges, planning in advance, aligning assets with the plan, verifying the correct alignment with financial institutions and tracking changes over time is key. For more information on the unique challenges when planning for a special needs beneficiary, explore our website and contact us to schedule your consultation today!
Reference: Today’s caregiver (2013) “Planning for the Future with a Special Needs Child – Part 2”