Estate Planning When You Have a Disabled Child

estate planning lawyer in DenverEstate planning is absolutely essential for any person but when you have a disabled child who is dependent on you for her care, the need for the right guidelines for division of assets and the care of the child, is even more important.

Very often, parents fail to take into account the fact that there is one child in the family who will need special care she gets older. For instance, if you have a child who has a physical or mental disability which requires that he or she get care from a family member, don’t simply assume that the other siblings will take care of the child after you. Don’t rely on verbal assurances. It is important to have everything down in written legal documents.

Many persons who have a disabled child choose to use a special needs trust. However, this kind of trust is not for everyone. To understand whether your child qualifies for a special needs trust, speak to an estate planning lawyer in Denver. With a Special Needs Trust, a disabled person who is eligible for Supplemental Security Income or benefits under the Medicaid program will continue to receive protection even after he receives an inheritance. Under the law, a person who receives an inheritance that amounts to more than $2,000 stands to lose federal assistance program benefits. However, that danger is limited by the establishment of a special needs trust.

As a parent, you want to make sure that your child continues to be eligible for government as well as federal protections, even after he gets an inheritance from you, regardless of the size of that inheritance. Speak to an estate planning lawyer about how a special needs trust will work in your case, and how to maximize the federal protections that your child eligible for from federal disability and medical benefits programs.

Don’t forget to name a legal guardian for your child in your will. This is an obvious, but common mistake to make. Have everything down in writing. Also, leave all instructions for the care of your child that the guardian can use as a guide for the child’s care after you.

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