Planning Your Estate: When a "Simple Will" Won't Suffice

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Fast Facts:

  • Over 700,000 American adults with disabilities have parents age 60+.
  • A special needs plan may be modified as needs change.
  • A special needs trust manages assets while protecting eligibility for government benefits.
  • A care plan ensures that a future guardian and trustee will be aware of the child's needs.

Parents of a child with a disability face many challenges, but none is more pressing than their concern about what will happen to their child in the event of their death or incapacity. Because parents have a difficult time making these decisions, procrastination and avoidance may result. Too often, nothing gets done until very late in life. Estate planning for a family that includes a child with disabilities can be much more complicated than for other families. A "simple" plan may not suffice, but the opportunity to make a real difference in the life and future of a disabled child should motivate parents to plan, carefully and early.

It has been estimated that there are over 700,000 American adults with disabilities who have living parents over age sixty. This highlights the often unmet need for people to plan in advance.

Getting Started:

Sometimes the problem of inertia is heightened by parents' concern about getting the plan "right" the first time. Once a plan is initially prepared, it is usually easy to make changes or amendments as times, needs and understanding change. For instance, ...

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by: Hyman G. Darling, Esq.

Healthcare Ledger
October 2008

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