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What will happen to my special needs child when I am gone?

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2024 | Estate Planning

Parents constantly worry about what will happen to their kids when they are no longer around. However, for those raising special needs children, their parental journey includes additional layers of concern. Children with disabilities may require extra care and financial support. On top of that, they may not be capable of making reasonable decisions for themselves or getting a regular job.

It is not merely a fleeting concern but a deep-seated fear that can overshadow the daily lives of these parents. It is a concern that brings to light the unique challenges and considerations that come with planning for the long-term care and well-being of a child with disabilities.

What it means to be an individual with special needs

When an individual has special needs, they have one or more disabilities. According to Florida laws, an individual with a disability refers to “a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual.” These individuals may have difficulty learning, speaking, working and caring for themselves.

When a child has special needs (even an adult child), an adult with a sound mind and body must always be around to make sure they do not injure themselves. The adult must provide them with proper care and nutrition. Because the child may not be able to work, they cannot support themselves financially. It can all be very overwhelming for a parent to think about these things. Fortunately, thorough estate planning can help them.

How an estate plan can help parents with a special needs child

A comprehensive estate plan can help parents ensure that their special needs children receive everything they need to live a full and healthy life. Parents can use estate planning tools to manage their children’s money for a lifetime and protect their children’s public benefits. They can do this by establishing a special needs trust to set aside funds for their children and give the money to them through a fixed and stable schedule. A guardianship arrangement can also be particularly beneficial to allow parents to appoint a trusted adult to care for the finances and well-being of their special needs children.

Parents can create a secure and promising future for their special needs children through meticulous planning. The measures put in place now will pave the way for these children to flourish with assurance, even when their parents are no longer by their side.


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