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  • Writer's pictureAdam Dayan, Esq.

Long-Term Planning For Parents With Special Needs Children

All parents worry about the future and well-being of their children, but parents of special needs children have unique concerns about financial protection for a disabled child after they are gone. Estate planning involves putting legal documents in place to protect loved ones in the event that anything happens to you. It is a top priority for special needs families, as it can help ensure their children get the care and financial support they need, now and in years to come.

At the Law Offices of Adam Dayan, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping families with disabled children. Our experienced special education attorneys provide the caring support and trusted legal guidance you need to establish a special needs trust.

Finding Support For Special Needs Families

If you are the parent of a disabled child, it is important to know you are not alone. According to recent U.S. Census Bureau figures, more than three million children are living with disabilities in the United States.

Special needs families face unique challenges. For parents, it involves careful financial planning to ensure children receive the care and support they need, both now and in the future. Factors to consider include:

  • Your income and savings: Caring for a special needs child could prevent you from working and quickly drain any savings you may have accumulated.

  • Health insurance policies: Health insurance can help offset the costs of medical care. However, premiums will likely be high, and you still need to contend with out-of-pocket expenses.

  • Life insurance policies: Having whole or term life policies in place helps special needs families ensure children are provided for in the future.

  • Government benefits: Medicare, Social Security, or other public benefits provide practical help, but any funds or other assets your child may have could make them ineligible.

Estate planning for disabled children plays a key role in financial planning. It can help in achieving two goals:

  1. maximizing current resources, and

  2. protecting your child’s future financial security.

Estate Planning For Disabled Children

Estate planning involves creating a will and other important legal documents. These legal documents give an accounting of your assets, convey your wishes in the event of incapacity or death, and provide for loved ones in the future. For special needs families, a trust is one of the most important estate planning tools.

A trust involves a fiduciary agreement in which you, as the trustor, transfer ownership of your assets and funds into a separate account, which a trustee manages. A trust allows you to specify precisely how assets should be managed and distributed to beneficiaries. In estate planning for disabled children, a special needs trust achieves several goals:

  • It makes sure your child is provided for financially in the event of your passing;

  • It allows you to designate someone you trust to manage your child’s financial affairs and make necessary distributions;

  • As ownership of financial resources is contained within the trust, it allows your special needs child to continue to qualify for government benefits and helps in paying additional costs not covered.

Not having a special needs trust in place could jeopardize the financial security of your special needs child. Mismanagement of assets, the potential for fraud, and not meeting income eligibility guidelines for Social Security disability and Medicaid are all serious risks.

How to Establish A Special Needs Trust In New York

The rules regarding establishing a special needs trust vary by state. Under the New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law, a special needs trust is referred to as a Supplemental Needs Trust (SNT). New laws governing the creation and use of SNTs went into place several years ago. These require:

  • An SNT must be created by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or the Court.

  • The beneficiary of an SNT must be under the age of 65 at the time it is created.

  • They must suffer a severe and chronic or persistent disability. This may include mental illness, developmental disabilities, or other physical or mental impairments.

  • Their condition is likely to require long-term, specialized care, for which they may need to rely on government benefits or public health services.

Find Out More About Creating A Special Needs Trust From New York Attorney Adam Dayan

Estate planning is a top priority for special needs families, helping to ensure children are provided for in the coming years. To get the caring support and trusted legal guidance you need in putting a special needs trust in place, reach out to the Law Offices of Adam Dayan, PLLC. Call (646) 866-7157 or contact us online and request a consultation with our New York attorneys today.


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