Estate planning for parents with children who have special needs

For parents in Nevada whose children have special needs, it is important to create an estate plan. In many ways, this estate plan is not very different from the estate plan anyone else would create. The parents still need to consider the same essential components which are a will, a trust, financial and medical powers of attorney, a HIPAA authorization and an advance health care directive.

However, the major consideration for parents of children with special needs is making sure that their children are not disqualified from public assistance because of an inheritance they have received. Parents can set up a special needs trust to prevent this.

People may want to think about their assets and what they want for them now and in the future. They may want to appoint one person as the guardian of the child with special needs and someone else to handle financial matters. Parents differ in the approach they take to creating an estate plan. Some primarily focus on investments and other financial matters while others write documents that are more personal. Questions parents should consider are who besides a spouse should be contacted for medical and financial decisions and who parents want to care for their children. The estate plan should be reviewed every three to five years in case there are changes in the family, law or assets.

There are a number of other types of trusts people may want to consider based on their needs. Trusts might be set up that can donate to charity or protect assets from creditors. Some people do not feel comfortable leaving adult children or other heirs with a lump sum and create a trust that only allows distributions at certain times, such as when the child reaches a certain age. People should also review their beneficiary designations and make sure they are compatible with the will or trust.

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