Planning for the future can be a daunting and overwhelming task, especially when it comes to ensuring the long-term care of children with disabilities. That is why it is critical that parents and guardians understand the options they have when it comes to this planning and how they can help even when they are no longer there to advocate on their child’s behalf.
Things To Consider Before Creating an Estate Plan
When it comes to planning for the future, two of the most important things parents want for their special needs children are long-term financial assistance and ensuring someone is there to take care of their child after they are gone.
For these reasons, it is important to consider the following issues before creating any type of plan:
- Conservator: Who would you want to serve as a guardian or conservator of your child if something should happen to you?
- Benefits: Is your child receiving any public benefits, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? If so, would inheriting any assets affect these benefits?
Although nobody wants to worry or even think about these things, planning and creating an estate plan can allow parents to set up legal-binding instructions to ensure their child is cared for.
Estate Planning Options To Consider
Many families of children with disabilities tend to turn to trusts as a way to set aside money for their children and make sure they are cared for after they are gone. However, parents need to know they may have other options as well.
A Special Needs Trust
A special needs trust (SNT) is a trust that is designed to enable an individual with disabilities to receive gifts, inheritances, settlements, or other funds and not lose their eligibility for certain types of governmental programs, including Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. To know more about these trusts and how to create one, contact an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning attorney and review your family’s legal options.
Create an ABLE Account
An Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) is a tax-advantaged savings account that allows people with disabilities to invest and save money for disability-related expenses without affecting their eligibility for government programs.
An ABLE account differs from a special needs trust as it offers more control and choices for the beneficiary and their family. With this account, the account owner will be able to control their funds and, if circumstances change, still have other choices available to them. However, determining which of these options is the most advantageous will depend on a person’s circumstances.
Contact Ardent Guardian To Learn More About Your Options
Planning ahead to ensure your loved ones are cared for can be challenging. However, if you do it right, you can create a plan that not only protects the people you care for but also helps to ensure that your wishes and decisions are honored if anything should happen to you.
For more information about estate planning for children with disabilities in Northern Virginia, contact Ardent Guardian today and speak to an experienced estate planning attorney about your options.