Providing for a special needs child in your estate plan

Following the requirements in Florida state law for creating a will or establishing a trust may be challenging when you have a special needs child to protect and provide for. It may feel overwhelming to figure out how to ensure your child gets the care he or she needs after you pass away. However, it is possible to develop a comprehensive estate plan that ensures your child has access to the resources and care he or she needs. At The Warnock Law Group, we have helped many parents create wills, trusts and guardianship arrangements to provide for their special needs children.

Some parts of estate planning remain the same whether your child has special needs or not. For example, your will could include guardianship instructions for your minor children regardless of their special needs status. However, you may also need to establish an adult guardianship for a child whose age does not affect his or her ability to care for himself or herself without assistance.

A thorough estate plan should encompass the financial issues that are unique to special needs children. For example, it may be important to create a trust that protects and allocates financial assets for your child. In the case of a special needs trust, you may need to establish it in such a way as to protect your child’s access to other resources, such as government disability benefits or Medicaid coverage.

Providing for the practical and financial needs of your child after you pass away is an essential function of estate planning. Special needs estate planning may require extra steps to establish guardianship arrangements and financial protections. More information about this topic is available on our web page.

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