Parents with disabled children should be very alert to common pitfalls and take various benefits their child may be entitled to and how they are obtained before leaving behind piles of wealth which they barely can utilize. The considerations below can help parents approach planning their estate when thinking about a child with disabilities.
If necessary, obtain professional help and evaluation on your child’s prospects and capability to earn a living and to manage property. You have to understand your child’s capabilities and plan accordingly.
Know the basic need of your special child and arrange things accordingly.
It is important to make arrangements for your child’s living arrangements after your death. You should have answers to the questions like “Where would my child live if my spouse and I are to die tomorrow?”
If you feel that a guardian is necessary, you should select a potential guardian in your will.
Is your child capable of earning his /her own living? It is important to determine how much your child can be expected earn to sustain his/her own life. If he or she is currently employed, does this income meet his or her living expenses? In many cases, even if your child is capable of earning, he/she will require additional financial assistance.
Some government benefits are only awarded to people under certain asset limits. Sometimes it can be more beneficial in the long run to seek these benefits and allow assets left from parents to be used in a more supplementary fashion. Our article on special & supplemental needs trusts gives a basic overview of some options. Strategies such as this take careful planning and must be done far in advance.
Mr. Abraham is an experienced attorney and founding member of the Law Firm of Abraham & Bauer. The Towson, MD office of the firm concentrates its practice in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Guardianship, Asset Preservation and Fiduciary Representation.
He is an active member in a number of professional organizations that focus on law, the senior community, and estate planning. He works with clients in Central Maryland, especially in Towson, Hunt Valley, Lutherville/Timonium, Parkville, White Marsh, Bel Air & Northern Baltimore City.
Schedule a consultation to help you and your loved ones.