Caring for a special needs child, now and after you’re gone

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Loving parents in Massachusetts and elsewhere worry about their children with physical and/or mental disabilities, and understandably so. Caregivers wish they could live forever, standing resolutely beside their loved ones and helping them face and conquer every challenge.

That is simply not meant to be the case, of course. Parents do ultimately pass, most often with their children having many years of life still ahead of them.

Given that reality, it makes strong sense for parents of special needs children to timely consider and implement strategies that have proven their worth and effectiveness as long-term planning vehicles.

Specifically, and as we note on a relevant page of our estate planning website at the Andover Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, special needs planning with a trust component “can ensure lifetime care and quality of life for children for disabilities.”

That assertion obviously begs a very direct and pointed question; How?

An experienced estate administration attorney can work closely with caregivers — most often parents — on important matters such as guardian selection, trust creation and the appointment of a trustee.

When appropriate (which it often is), a special needs trust is often an ideal vehicle for ensuring that a beneficiary will have access to funds throughout life for necessities and other things, while at the same time remaining eligible for various government benefits that can be exceedingly valuable.

Because trust funds are managed by the trustee and legally deemed to be under the trustee’s control, they are not counted as a beneficiary’s assets, meaning that they can be applied on the beneficiary’s behalf without there being any risk of resulting ineligibility for government programs.

There is obviously much to know about special needs trusts. An estate administration attorney who has a deep well of experience in working with this singular estate planning tool can provide relevant information.

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