When there are children with special needs that may inherit or are dependent on the estate owner, certain provisions are necessary in the estate plan. This could include healthcare, long-term care, planning for the unexpected and hiring an agent to ensure business matters are taken care of while the child adjusts to his or her new role.
Special needs children could have a number of different ailments or conditions. Sometimes, these conditions or complications are eliminated with time, and other times these are long-term issues that will remain with the child as he or she grows. When the concern will stay with the heir, the estate owner must make alternate plans. These often include healthcare planning and a nurse or other medical staff to watch over the child if the owner dies. When the special need is a disability, some specific means may be required. The parent or person that provides income or support may need to add more persons to the plan or include additional measures such as insurance or a trust.
If the estate will only provide so much, the child with the special need may obtain government assistance. For disabilities, these could be for life to include medical support. However, many estate owners create trusts for children or dependents that have disabilities, health conditions or other special needs. It is important to create these early and then adjust them if necessary. This prepares the child in case the owner of the estate dies suddenly or unexpectedly. It is imperative that the plan is carried out per the instructions left behind, and any agent should be fully informed of all alterations and specifics for the special needs child.
The Needs of the Special Needs Child
Many children that have special needs require assistance throughout life. Whether this is a disability, healthcare conditions or impairments of senses or the mind, the estate owner needs to take each issue specifically and ensure he or she will be taken care of after the owner dies. This is crucial to ensure that heirs are provided for, spouses are able to remain with children and other heirs do not challenge the will or last testament. Healthcare is an essential must if the special needs child has a healthcare ailment. This is similar to estate owners that must plan for long-term care for themselves. However, the degree of the ailment or impairment may increase or decrease the amount of insurance or other measures necessary.
Many estate plans have various methods that could be used depending on a wide variety of factors. One of the most important of elements that is used for special circumstances is the trust. With a trusted agent, the estate owner may create a trust to ensure the special needs heir will have everything he or she needs as long as the trust holds. This may involve creating a revenue stream directed into the trust. Such matters may include real estate investments, rental properties, businesses directing a portion of income into the trust and similar items. With a trust in place, the child may not need any other monetary help.
Planning around the Need
When the disability, infirmity or ailment issues have fully been categorized and considered, it may be possible to plan for these needs. Whether this is insurance, advanced healthcare, surgery, treatment or life-long assistance with a mentor or caregiver, the estate owner is then prepared to set these plans in motion through his or her estate strategy. Other programs may also contact the owner to setup a support system such as the Special Needs Alliance or similar groups. There may be government assistance that could help the child through his or her life depending on the need, how severe the condition is and how long the aid will be necessary.
Other matters should be accounted for such as emergency contacts and medical providers. These should be listed in the estate plan for any others that may become involved with the special needs child. Legal details are needed as well to include documentation for the child and all the estate matters. If an agent has been hired, he or she may be given instructions for various concerns and given the power to carry them out.
The Lawyer in the Estate Plan
The lawyer that has been hired by the owner of the estate becomes crucial to ensuring everything is legal and set correctly. Some of these processes may require adjustments, and a legal representative is often the perfect choice for various tasks.