As a parent of a child with special needs, you probably plan ahead all the time. Depending on your child’s needs, you may start every day with a plan to ensure things run smoothly.
It is likely difficult for you to imagine how your child would survive without you to help him or her, but that is something you must think about for the welfare of your child. As soon as you know you have a special needs child, you should begin thinking about what will happen after your death.
It is essential as you begin special needs planning that you think long term. “KidsHealth” from Nemours explains that creating a special needs trust is one way to do that.
Your child may receive benefits through many different programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Such programs work off of income and assets, so you have to be sure your child’s income and assets do not prevent him or her from receiving those benefits.
A special needs trust will help with that, but you have to put one in place. Without a trust, your child may receive his or her inheritance in a way that would impact the eligibility for those programs.
It is important that you consider your child’s needs today and in the future. Will he or she have limitations on his or her ability to make decisions? If not, you have to ensure there is a guardian in place who can provide the necessary care and oversight.
You also should consider writing up a guide to caring for your child. A binder is helpful that contains all of the important information, such as medications, doctor’s phone numbers and other details, that will allow someone else to easily step into the daily care of your child.
If you fail to leave a plan in place, it will impact your child. So, it is never too early to get things in place.