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Estate planning for special needs children

Most Georgia parents understand the need for a competently prepared estate plan to pass their assets to their children. This need becomes even more critical for parents of children with special needs. Parents with special needs children should consider some of the following suggestions to ensure that their special needs child receives the proper care after they are gone.

Special needs parents should first consider the child's future. Is the child expected to live a normal life span or die at an unusually early age? Will the child be able to live independently? The answers to these questions can be critical to protecting the child's future. The parents must also consider the child's eligibility for government benefits, such as those provided by Medicaid and Social Security Supplement Insurance. A disabled child may also become eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

Many of these programs limit eligibility to people whose total net assets are less than $2,000. A special needs trust can ensure that the child remains eligible for Medicaid and other programs while retaining control of his or her assets. Such a trust transfers the child's assets to a third party who is then responsible for managing the assets to pay the child's necessary living and medical expenses.

Other estate planning devices that can be used to protect the child's future include guardianships and conservatorships. Because so many of these issues are legally complex, the services of an experienced special needs attorney may be essential. Anyone who is curious about estate planning for a special needs child may wish to contact the Pollan Law Firm in Atlanta for further information. The Pollan Law Firm has been solving legal questions for the families of special needs families for twenty years.

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