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Estate planning for special needs

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning is the ideal time to ask about the care your special needs children in Maryland will need. Your current responsibilities will remain should you pass today without a plan in place for a child with disabilities. Carefully planning how they’ll receive care and pay for it means that you need to approach estate planning with a flexible mindset.

A letter of intent

Consider writing a letter of intent that outlines the care your child needs should you become incapacitated. A letter of intent makes estate planning simple and gives you flexibility. Through this letter, you can devise a care plan based on your daily routine. You’re even allowed to set life goals for a child. Who the new caretaker will be is stated in this document much like a will.

Local and federal benefits

In some cases, individuals with disabilities lose their qualifications for public assistance. This happens when the assets of such children are considered substantial. You can still keep your child eligible for public assistance regardless of what you give them. One option is to start a special needs trust. The assets therein remain private, so your child will be eligible for public assistance. You can also open an Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, account.

Estate planning in Maryland

Making future plans for a child with disabilities is risky if you don’t also plan for a guardian or conservator. Assigning someone to directly care for your child is done with a will. On the other hand, you might want the help of a court to assign a conservator. This is someone who handles the finances of a person who’s incapable.

No matter the provisions you make for your special needs child, the important part is that you write them down in advance. A discussion with your child about these provisions may also be appropriate.