I have written a few other blogs that discuss the legal aspects of special needs planning such as the difference between first party and third party special needs trusts, as well as ABLE accounts and pooled trusts.
I am very passionate about getting the word out in the community about having the appropriate special needs planning documents in place to ensure that an individual with special needs will not lose their government benefits in the event that a family member passes. However, this article focuses more on how just having the documents may not be enough.
Parents with children with disabilities often worry about how the child will take care of themselves or who will take care of them, and what will be their quality of life.
Assuming that we understand the importance of having the legal documents in place, it is equally as important to make sure that your specific wishes for your child about where you want them to live and how you want them to be taken care of are known.
Take the time to discuss your wishes with the important people who are named in your document who may be the executor of your Will, the trustee of your trust, or the guardian in the future for a child with disabilities. It’s not enough to have the document, but you must set forth your instructions in detail so that there is absolutely no question about what you want.
We encourage parents to do personal care plans that will document in writing the details of their wishes for their children with disabilities. While it is important in other areas of estate planning as well, I don’t think there is any area where it is more important to specifically set forth your wishes.
I have found in my practice that people will always try to do the best thing for the individual with disabilities. But at the end of the day, they are not the parents. The parents are the ones who know what their wishes are and putting those wishes in writing in a personal care plan and having those conversations with the other family members or individuals who will be assisting is invaluable and cannot be understated.
Take the time to put your wishes in writing so that you save a lot of heartache and make sure that your child with disabilities is taken care of, not only from a document perspective but from a care perspective.
We can help. If you have questions about how to implement a personal care plan for your loved one with special needs just contact us here and we'll reach out to connect with you and get you answers.