As a California parent of a special needs child, you face unique estate planning needs that differ broadly from those faced by parents whose children who not have disabilities. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we have a comprehensive understanding of the important estate planning considerations special needs parents face, and we have helped many clients plan for their futures, and those of their children.
Per SpecialNeedsAlliance.org, it is especially important that parents of children with brain injuries, autism, Down syndrome and other disabilities create estate plans early on to ensure that plans are in place, should either parent or child become incapacitated. Part of this involves making your own estate plan, which may include information about who is to make decisions on you and your child’s behalf, should the need arise.
For example, you may want to give someone you know and trust power of attorney, so that they can see to it that your disabled child receives everything he or she needs once you personally can no longer do so. This is also an important time to think about advance directives, and whether you want to, for example, stay alive by artificial means, should an accident occur. Putting such plans in place can save your loved ones considerable stress down the line, because they will already know your wishes and therefore not have to guess.
You may also want to consider creating a special needs trust for your child, which is an important step that may be necessary so that the child can continue to receive certain types of public benefits after your passing. This is also a good time to start thinking about appointing a conservator or guardian for your child who can step in and care for or make decisions on behalf of your disabled child if you are unable to do so. More about special needs estate planning is available on our website.