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Planning for a child with special needs

This month’s Legal Brief focuses on supporting the children in our lives with special needs. One important way to take care of your child or family member is to create a Special Needs Trust. A Special Needs Trust provides a way to allow them to continue receive other benefits, supplementing them as needed through a trustee who manages trust assets.

Raising children can come with a variety of challenges. This is true for all parents but for parents of children who have special needs there are additional concerns and worries. Finding the right medical care and specialists. Hunting down agencies to provide help and support. Researching where your child will get the best education. Advocating for your child’s needs. Ultimately, we want our kids to not just live but THRIVE. We seek out the best opportunities available.

Take care of yourself.

We work hard to provide for our family. While rewarding, the effort we put toward this can be taxing. Get support. Find groups or organizations that support families of children with special needs. Look for general support or an organization tailored to the specific need in your family. Whatever parenting challenge you are facing, surround yourself with encouragement and wisdom of others. And if you have overcome some of your own step in and support someone else with your compassion and experience.

Find support and connection.

This month Stone Law sponsored the Northern Colorado Down Syndrome Foundation’s annual walk. This foundation supports and connects individuals with Down Syndrome and their families through advocacy, building awareness and fostering relationships. Whatever your circumstances, find a group or organization to help you navigate challenges and celebrate successes.

Another way to take care of yourself is to plan so you know your children will be provided for when you are no longer able to. When you have minors, a will to name guardians puts someone you trust in that role. You can be as specific and detailed as you wish. Maybe one person to provide daily care and another to manage finances. Have peace of mind, come talk with an attorney at Stone Law and make sure your kids will be cared for so you don’t have to worry.

Provide for your child.

Another important factor when considering how to plan for and support a child or family member with special needs is what happens when they receive an inheritance. For many getting a lump sum is a blessing. This may not be the case if your child relies in some part on benefits that are based on financial need.

Many need-based benefits provide housing, medical care, or even equipment. These benefits may be discontinued if a person receives a lump sum inheritance that changes their need-based qualification status. How do you plan to protect your loved one from that?

A Special Needs Trust is an important piece of your estate plan when a child or loved one has a disability. A Special Needs Trust prevents money from an inheritance going directly to the beneficiary in a lump sum. Instead, money is managed by a trustee you name. Funds are given on an as needed basis for anything not provided through other benefits. This can be especially useful when needs based programming covers only the minimum services. Protect and provide for your loved ones who have special needs and circumstances with a Special Needs Trust as part of your estate plan. Give Stone Law a call today and get started on your path toward piece of mind.

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