A special needs child may have a physical, mental, or emotional disability and will require care once they are into adulthood. Naturally, parents worry about what will happen to their child once they are no longer able to care for them. That is why special needs family planning is essential.
Divorce is difficult for any family, but when a special needs child is involved, there are additional complications. Depending on the nature of the child’s disability, child custody may become difficult. For example, if the child is confined to a wheelchair, it may prove hard for them to stay with the parent moving out of the family home if the parent’s new residence is not handicapped accessible. Parents must also consider the costs related to the needs of a child with a disability. Any custody and child support agreement must consider the needs of the child, which may differ greatly from the needs of any able-bodied children in the family.
Retirement and the Special Needs Child
Many families can handle the financial requirements of a special needs child during their working years, but it becomes more difficult once the parents retire and are on a fixed income. Parents must plan for their child’s future lifetime expenses and care while saving for their own retirement. In many families with special needs children, one parent either does not work or only works part-time because of the need to care for disabled child. That makes saving for retirement even more difficult.
Parents of a special needs child should start making financial plans as soon as possible, and professional planning is a necessity. With good, solid planning, parents have a better chance of a satisfactory retirement for themselves and a sound future for their child.
Special Needs Trusts
Your special needs child is likely eligible to receive Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in adulthood. While you can leave money from your estate to your able-bodied children outright, doing so with a special needs child will jeopardize their benefits. A special needs trust can help protect your child after you are gone, but it requires expert planning. You must name someone as a trustee, who oversees handling the trust and spending money on your loved one’s behalf. The trust itself will specify how and when the assets may be used.
Rather than leave funds to your special needs child, you leave money to the trust. The trustee cannot give money directly to your child, but they can buy things needed for your child’s care and well-being. That may include out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses, clothing, and recreational needs.
Mendham Family Law Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients Plan for Their Special Needs Children
If you have a special needs child or want to discuss special needs planning, you need the services of the experienced Mendham family law lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation. Located in Somerville, New Jersey, we serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.