Estate Planning for Special Needs Children: How to Get Started

Parents with special needs children face many challenges. While protecting your child’s financial future may seem like a far-off goal, a recent article points out that it is important to partake in some long-term financial planning now. Early planning helps to ensure that your child has enough assets to maintain proper care in the future.

It is ideal to begin planning the moment you are aware that your child may have any form of permanent disability. Early planning is vital because you need to save enough money for two generations, you and your child. The specifics of your plan will depend on many factors, including the life expectancy of you and your child, your child’s future earning potential, and your child’s housing and care needs.

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Flori...

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida’s Step Up for Down Syndrome (Photo credit: ~Rich Johnson~)

The first step in planning for a special needs child is to calculate a monthly budget of the child’s costs. Then, extrapolate the costs over the child’s expected lifetime using a rational rate of inflation. Consider this amount the amount of money you will have to amass and save for your child. After you have determined what this figure is, determine what types of financial mechanisms, such as investments and insurance policies, you can utilize in order to amass this amount. Once you have done this preliminary research, speak with an estate planning attorney about crafting an estate plan that will meet your child’s expected needs.