If you have a child with special needs, it’s important to take the time now to create a legal plan for your child. You need to ensure that they are always protected, no matter what happens. This includes creating a Special Needs Trust, naming backup guardians/conservators, and considering alternative housing scenarios. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that a family member will be able to care for them.
Creating a Special Needs Trust
A Special Needs Trust (SNT) is an essential tool for families who have children with disabilities or special healthcare needs. It allows parents or other family members to provide financial support for those individuals. Having an SNT will not affect the child’s eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The Special Needs Trust is created by an attorney and must comply with federal and state laws. A trustee is chosen to oversee the trust fund, to ensure that it’s used only for the benefit of the beneficiary.
Naming Backup Guardians/Conservators
In addition to creating an SNT, it’s also important for parents to name backup guardians/conservators. You would want to know that there is somebody who can step in if something happens to you. These individuals should be carefully selected, based on their experience working with people with disabilities. The parents must discuss the requirements for your special needs child, with the potential guardian. It is important for the parents to tell the guardians how to handle certain issues related to the child’s care, such as medical decisions and therapies.
Alternative Housing Situations
The parents of children with special needs should consider alternative housing arrangements for their child. You cannot assume that your other children will be able or willing to accommodate their special needs brother or sister. It is worth looking at residential facilities who specialize in caring for individuals with disabilities. You need to determine if these housing arrangements can be funded through Medicaid or SSI. If not, trusts or foundations can be set up specifically as private funding sources.
Contact us… Your Special Needs Lawyer
Your child’s future is important, and with the right planning, you can ensure that it remains secure. If you want to create a plan for your special needs child, contact us at 724 546 4227. Our Sechler team are here to guide you through every step of the planning process.