Consideration of special needs children vital in estate planning

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People who have adult children with special needs in Lee County, Florida typically have a lot on their plate. Depending on the needs of the person, it can be an around the clock job just to care for him or her. With so much to do, one thing that many parents may not think about is planning for the future and what will happen to their child when they die. One thing that can really benefit their child is setting up a special needs adult guardianship.

Parents may think that their other children will take care of their child with special needs and just leave an inheritance to them assuming this. But this can be a dangerous assumption and leave the special needs person at the mercy of his or her siblings.

This was the case for one father who had two sons, one of whom had severe special needs. When the father died, he did not leave anything to the son who was disabled, evidently because he thought the other son would take care of his brother. This plan backfired when the son got a divorce and the money intended for both sons was handed over to the man’s ex-wife.

This could have been avoided if the father would have set up a trust fund for his special needs son. His son would have still been allowed to collect any Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid while the other son could have acted as manager of the trust in order to pay for other expenses as needed. This would have ensured that the inheritance of the son with disabilities was kept safe.

If you have a son or daughter with special needs, you may wish to speak with an attorney about your options for ensuring he or she is cared for after you pass on.

Source: U.S. News, “Caring for a Sibling With Special Needs,” Geoff Williams, May 14, 2013

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