SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING
Children with special needs or disabilities often require a lifetime of care, and parents must start planning early in their child’s life to ensure that there are enough financial resources set aside and that foundational safeguards are in place to guarantee a secure future if mom or dad is no longer alive, or physically able to provide care for their child someday.
We strive to help parents alleviate the fear they have about their child’s future and empower them with options and resources to stay in control. That includes:
- The creation of legal tools such as Special Needs Trusts that will allow parents to leave behind income or assets for their child’s care without jeopardizing his or her ability to collect public benefits such as Medi-Cal for healthcare, SSI, or housing assistance.
- Helping parents stay in control once their child with disabilities turns 18. At this age, parents will in many cases need to go through a court process to become their child’s legal Conservator for the right to continue to make personal, financial and medical decisions on their child’s behalf. If the child is semi-independent or high functioning, we can guide parents through the process of becoming their child’s Financial Power of Attorney and Healthcare Agent to ensure that they have the legal right to act and make decisions in an emergency.
- Ensuring parents have the right long-term “point guards” in place, including financial advisors, insurance agents, care managers, etc. and creating a system of checks and balances, making sure parents are not taken advantage of, and providing them with peace of mind.
- Making sure that legal guardians are named who can step in and raise the child in the event the parent dies, or ever become incapacitated and unable to provide care on a short-term or long-term basis.
- If your child will be a semi-independent adult, we’ll teach you how to use ABLE Accounts that will allow them to accumulate savings and manage their own money without jeopardizing eligibility for benefits.
- We’ll walk you through all the ways to “fund” a lifetime of care for your child, whether that comes from your own estate when you’re gone, contributions from others, a legal settlement or a life insurance policy.