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4 estate planning considerations for children with disabilities

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Estate Planning

Parents want a secure future for their children. When these children have disabilities, estate planning can become even more important. For example, adult children with disabilities may need financial support for their entire lives.

In California, parents should keep specific considerations in mind.

1. Inheritance and benefit eligibility

Parents must consider how their child’s inheritance could affect eligibility for government benefits. Directly inheriting significant assets can jeopardize supports such as SSI and Medicaid.

A special needs trust allows parents to leave assets for their child’s benefit. It does so without affecting benefit eligibility. This trust can cover various expenses, including medical care, therapy and personal needs. A trust can ensure the child’s quality of life remains intact.

2. Guardianship and decision-making

A guardian can care for children with disabilities who may require ongoing help into adulthood. In California, parents can nominate a guardian through their estate plan. This gives the guardian authority to make decisions about the child’s health care, finances and overall well-being.

3. Long-term care planning

California offers various programs and services for individuals with disabilities. They include In-Home Supportive Services and regional centers. Including provisions for these services in the estate plan is smart. It can help ensure seamless access to necessary care and support.

4. Reviews and updates

As children with disabilities grow and circumstances evolve, parents should revisit their estate plan. This ensures it continues to meet their child’s needs effectively.

By addressing these aspects, parents can create a comprehensive plan. It can safeguard their child’s future and provide peace of mind for the entire family.