Your child with special needs is becoming a teenager, or is about to turn 18, or is an adult living independently. No matter how old your child is now, you may wonder if it is “too late” to start future planning.
- It Is Rarely “Too Late” – Start Now!
No matter what kind of plans your family has made in the past, now is always a great time to start doing planning specific to having a child with special needs. Standard estate planning using a lawyer unfamiliar with special needs planning or using pre-printed forms is simply not enough. There are laws that help people with special needs save money for the future that you can use. Plus, there are benefits and programs your child might not be receiving. You can learn about what is available by doing some future planning. Even if you have already started an estate plan, you may find out something new.
- Future Planning Is About… The Future
You and your family have more time together in the future. Future planning is all about looking ahead to what could happen, and preparing so that your child can thrive. For example, you and your child should both have basic estate planning in place, such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, or life insurance. These estate planning documents help you pass on assets to whichever heirs you choose. If you die before your child with special needs, you can plan so that he or she has money and receives care. If your child has unexpected medical procedures, you can plan so that your family can afford them.
- Avoid Adverse Consequences of No Plan
Without a future plan in place, well-meaning relatives (or yourself) could leave money to your child with special needs directly. These inheritances could jeopardize your child’s eligibility for government benefits. Too many assets or too much income will mean no benefits, such as SSI or Medicaid. Further, you or your family members’ estates could owe significant taxes, reducing gifts to your child, or you could run into other inheritance issues. A future plan that takes into account the person with special needs in your family is better in the long run.
Rubin Law is the only law firm in Illinois exclusively limited to providing compassionate special needs legal and future planning to guide our fellow Illinois families of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, or mental illness down the road to peace of mind. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-TO-RUBIN.