As the parent of a child with special needs, you certainly do not consider his or her disabilities as something that holds him or her back. You undoubtedly embrace your child's differences as part of his or her wonderful personality, physical appearance and general being. You likely have no intention of making your child feel as if he or she should be held back by any disabilities.
Of course, your child may still need special accommodations to make his or her life easier or in order to receive necessary medical treatment or other related attention that falls into the category of special needs. While you do your best to meet these needs, you may worry about how your child will fare in the event of your passing.
Though the idea of having someone else care for your child may be difficult to contemplate, you certainly know that you will not be around forever. Fortunately, you can use your estate plan to ensure that your child will receive the care and funds to meet his or her needs even after you have left this world. However, you may want to remain aware that certain actions could put your child at risk of financial difficulties.
Leaving your child an inheritance may help you feel more at ease knowing that he or she will have funds available to meet every day needs or to pay for care. However, if your child receives government benefits or may need such benefits in the future, a sudden influx of money as the result of inheritance could jeopardize his or her ability to qualify for financial assistance. These programs are often income-based, and if your child's income suddenly exceeds the qualifying level, he or she may lose much-needed benefits.
Additionally, if your child has a mental disability, he or she may not have the capabilities to handle a considerable amount of money, and you certainly do not want someone else to take advantage of the situation and misuse those funds.
Special needs trusts
Because of these potential scenarios, you may wonder how to leave behind assets for your child without causing unintended difficulties. Luckily, there is an estate planning option known as a special needs trust that could help avoid such hardships. These trusts can help your child keep government benefits as well as allow you to put a trusted person in charge of the funds to ensure their proper use. Information on creating this type of trust may help you determine whether it could fit your needs.