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Estate Planning for Children with Disabilities

Posted on in Estate Planning & Children

DuPage County estate planning lawyersAccording to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in seven American children have some form of disability. Some suffer from behavioral and mental health issues. Others have developmental disabilities or congenital defects that severely impact their ability to care for themselves. Many of them could be at risk for issues in the future, once their parents are no longer around to care for them. Thankfully, estate planning offers parents a way to mitigate some of those risks. The following explains.

Choosing a Guardian for Your Child

If you know that your child will need lifelong care, it is critical that you create a will or estate plan and name at least two potential guardians to care for your child. The first can be the primary. The second can be someone who would assume care, should the first person pass away or be unable/unwilling to care for your child. You might also wish to set up an emergency care person - someone who would assume temporary care for your child, should you pass away suddenly. This can ensure they stay out of the state's care and in the care of someone you know and trust.

Developing a Trust Without Risking Disability

Until recently, families struggled to save money for their disabled child's future. Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) had limits on how much cash reserve they could have saved, and exceeding that amount meant giving up a child's benefits. Thankfully, families now have access to a tax-deferred investment account that allows them to save up to $100,000 without jeopardizing their child's SSI benefits. Medicaid eligibility is never affected, no matter how much money is in the account. Known as an ABLE account, parents can also incorporate disbursements into their estate plan to ensure the money never interferes with eligibility and benefits.

Why an Estate Planning Attorney is Crucial

Although it is entirely possible to estate plan without an attorney, it is highly discouraged for all individuals. This goes doubly so for parents who have a child with disabilities. Careful and thoughtful solutions must be developed to reduce the risk of any interference with disability benefits. Further, there are many aspects that go into choosing a guardian and/or trust for your child.

Get the experienced and creative knowledge of Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC for your estate plan. Committed to your interest, our DuPage County estate planning lawyers will work to ensure your child's needs are met, long after you are gone. Learn more by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call us at 630-665-2500 today.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6509a1.htm?s_cid=mm6509a1_w

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-illinois-treasurer-disability-savings-accounts-met-20170127-story.html

http://illinoisassetbuilding.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/ABLE-FAQ_FINAL.pdf

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