All parents worry about their children, but there’s a special anxiety that comes along when you have a child with special needs. The fear of where their life will lead and the fear that you cannot be in control of their lives forever is real. You know that their needs will last throughout their life, but you also know there is a good chance that you won’t be there for all of it.
This makes estate planning critical for these families. You need to have the resources and money in place to make sure your child is cared for, but you also need to be absolutely sure that you don’t do anything with the resources and money that would cause them to lose critical benefits that they need.
Also, being prepared is critical. Experienced special needs planning lawyers recommend that you keep these important documents on hand and accessible so that your child doesn’t experience a significant change of lifestyle if you become incapacitated or pass away:
~ Birth certificate, social security card, and health insurance card. You may want to make multiple copies of these documents as well.
~ A letter of intent. This document gives important information about your loved one to their future caregivers. Make sure that this document is updated to keep up with the needs of your loved one.
~ Power of attorney and Advance Directive (living will) for yourself. This can save your loved ones’ time and provide peace of mind should you become incapacitated.
~ Final arrangements and wishes for yourself. To provide clear instructions to your family to follow in order to make the process as easy as possible.
~ List of major assets. This can include bank accounts, stocks, and insurance polices, also include account numbers and financial advisors contact information.
~ Copies of the Special Needs Trust. This will protect the assets you want to set aside for your child with special needs.
~ Guardianship Documents. You want to have everything ready to go so that there’s never confusion about who should care for your child if something unexpectedly happens to you.
~ A list of government benefits. These will help the future guardian and/or caregiver know what is currently being collected and also help them to quickly see what is missing if new benefits may be available after your passing.
~ The names of case workers/government agencies you worked with when finding assistance for your loved one.
~ Any other important documents like medical records, education information, and tax returns.
~ The name and contact information of your Special Needs Planning Attorney.
If you do not yet have a solid plan in place for your child with special needs, contact the Fairfax Virginia Law firm of Sheri R. Abrams at (571) 328-5795 right away and we can get started immediately. The anxiety that you feel will probably never go away completely, but it can be decreased when you have everything in order.