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HighPoint Law Blog

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Plan for your Adult Special Needs Child and Your Retirement

We see clients every day that are thinking about retirement. But for parents of special needs children, the advancements in medical science that allow for greater longevity for those with special needs also creates a planning issue. Parents of special needs children need to think about long-term planning for their child as a part of their retirement planning.

In my experience, here are five things you should know when planning for a special needs child:

  1. Plan for two lifetimes: your retirement and your special needs child’s lifetime. You’re not just planning for your retirement. You’ll need to plan for your child’s needs as they age too.
  2. Do everything you can to ensure your special needs child is eligible for benefits. The biggest thing you can do to ensure your child has access to the care they need in future is to ensure they are eligible for benefits now and won’t lose their eligibility. Leaving an inheritance outright to a special needs beneficiary can jeopardize eligibility for benefits.
  3. Trust planning is probably your best bet. You probably won’t want to just give the assets to your children without special needs and assume they’ll provide for the special needs child. While it might seem like a good solution now, life changes and it could be a burden in the future or cause estate planning problems for your children.
  4. The sooner you start thinking about housing, the better. After a parent passes, the special needs adult needs proper housing. Finding a place in advance and moving any special needs children out of the house before you experience a decline can help dramatically in the long term.
  5. Get connected to organizations and support groups. Establish relationships with associations who will help you advocate for and support your child. Organizations can connect you with family support groups and long-term planning. Some have employees who regularly visit or call to check in on clients, as well as help them find recreational activities and jobs to pursue.

While this is a simple overview, planning for a special needs beneficiary can be a complex decision-making process. It’s best to get advice from your financial and estate planning professionals to take an in-depth look at how to best address your child’s needs. For more information on this and other special needs topics, explore our website and contact us to schedule your consultation today!

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