HOW TO HELP CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
California parents who have children with special needs face unique challenges in trying to raise their kids. In some cases, the parent of a special needs child must face the prospect of a son or daughter who needs care for the rest of his or her life. Therefore, it is a good idea to create an estate plan that designates a guardian in the event that a parent is unable to care for the child.
A special needs trust can be established that will provide the financial resources needed to provide care. By placing assets into a trust, it increases the chances that the child can receive money from both family members and the government. The trust should be accompanied by a will that both names a guardian and funds the special needs trust. Without a will, there is no guarantee that the child will get adequate care in the future.
In addition to a will and trust, a letter of intent can make it easier for others to provide the right type of care for a special needs child. The letter can outline how a parent would like the child to be cared for as well as describe the child's needs in a comprehensive manner. Such a letter can also be used to help educate family members about the child's condition.
The use of a trust may provide for greater asset protection for an individual with special needs. This may make it possible to qualify for government benefits. An attorney may be able to assist in creating a special needs trust. This person may also act as a trustee if that is what a parent wants to do.