There are parents who have special needs trusts for their autistic adult children. Many of these children with special needs are able to live on their own and hold down a job. Nonetheless, parents want to do more to provide for the future of these children.
NJ.com’s article, “Long-term planning for a special needs child,” says there are several things that parents can do to help children with special needs years into the future.
Consider a guardianship proceeding, if your child with special needs isn’t able to manage his or her financial or medical decisions without help. Be certain that your will designates a successor guardian.
Next, draft a letter of intent to help the successor guardian or those designated to care for him to manage the transition after you pass away. This isn’t a formal legal document, but it’s a memorialization of the child's needs to guide the caregiver, guardian, and trustee of the special needs trust in providing the best possible care for the child. A letter of intent should include information about the child's schedule, diet, medications, medical and dental care, and his or her public benefits, along with information about his living arrangements, social activities and religion. Review and update the document periodically and keep it with your estate planning documents.
Another option is to purchase a life insurance policy with the trust as a beneficiary. If you decide to move forward with this, see an independent insurance broker rather than a company agent. This is because an independent broker may be able to find policies with different companies to get the best rate.
Reference: NJ.com (May 9, 2017) “Long-term planning for a special needs child”
Contact our office at 801-438-7120 for advice on designing an estate plan specific to your needs, including planning for any beneficiaries with special circumstances. We can also assist with a Guardian or Conservatorship.