Without proper planning, you cannot assume that things will work out for the special needs member of your family after you are gone. In fact, without advance planning, you could be setting the stage for a disaster.
If you have a family member with special needs, you know that they cannot manage on their own, or function without the support of a team of healthcare and social support providers. What would happen to your family member, if you died unexpectedly or became incapacitated? That is why you need to have a plan in place, long before it is needed, to protect them and provide for their care.
The Middletown Transcript’s article, “Caring for family member with special needs requires planning,” begins with a child born with a lifelong condition.
The hardest thing is the 24/7 aspect of a job that you love doing. It is important to understand, however, that it’ll wear you out. Parents must find support and breaks for the care, but also must determine what to do when they pass away.
There is usually state agency help or aid from a government program. However, the aid is always at the whim of politicians, so you must plan for the child’s inheritance. That means a type of estate planning to preserve certain benefits for your child and allow any funds you’ve saved for them to supplement their lifestyle.
Another type of special needs is for those family members with substance abuse issues. This type of condition leaves parents knowing that any day could be ‘the’ day. However, similar to special needs from birth, this loved one must be protected from having access to large sums of money.
Over the long term, the issues are similar to a traditional special needs scenario. However, there’s always a chance of a full recovery. That hope often turns to despair, but it doesn’t mean a family wants to stop supporting their loved one.
While it is unpleasant to contemplate, there are many instances of healthy people who are incapacitated by an accident, stroke or another serious medical condition. If such an event should happen to a family member, you’ll also need to create a special needs plan and update your estate plan .
An estate planning attorney who has worked with special needs families will be able to help you plan ahead for these issues, structure your estate plan properly and help your family navigate through whatever challenges lie ahead. The important concept: don’t wait to address these matters.
Reference: Middletown (DE) Transcript (August 1, 2017) “Caring for family member with special needs requires planning”