Estate planning when you have an adult child with disabilities

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2023 | Estate Planning |

One of the most common anxieties of parents with minor or adult developmentally disabled children is the uncertainty of what will happen to them once the parents pass away. It’s not an enjoyable topic to contemplate, but unfortunately, it is necessary.

The good news is that parents can structure their estate plans so that their children’s benefits are protected, and their needs continue to be met after their parents are no longer around to supervise them. 

What all parents need to know

One of the best options for parents of minor children (regardless of any disability) and those with adult children with disabilities is to fund special needs trusts for them. The money you deposit into the trust should be sufficient to cover their needs for a lifetime, given the trust is well-managed by its trustee.

But don’t stop there

Your adult disabled child also needs their own estate plan. Any remaining funds in the trust can be disbursed to other living children, relatives, friends or even a charity that was close to your disabled loved one’s heart.

But there are additional matters to address if you have a child with a disability. Depending upon their level of awareness and insight, they may be able to convey their preferences regarding end-of-life care, wills and health care directives. There is evidence that Down’s syndrome often leads to both early-onset and later in life dementia. With no formal plan in place, once you are gone, decisions about your disabled child may ultimately be left up to the courts.

So, don’t procrastinate another day. Begin the estate planning process so that you will have peace of mind knowing that your beloved child is protected all of their days.