Thursday, October 30, 2014
For families caring for those with special needs, estate planning takes time and thoughtful consideration. With advances in care and modern medicine, individuals with special needs live longer, healthier lives, making planning more important than ever.
Once you begin planning for your loved one’s future, keep these documents on hand with your estate planning records:
- Legal papers. These include birth certificate, Social Security Card, and health insurance cards.
- A letter of intent. This provides future caregivers important information about your child. It can relay information about care needs, food preferences, and other day-to-day information.
- Your advance health care and financial directives. Powers of attorney and living wills can save loved ones time and heartache should you become incapacitated.
- Information regarding assets. Create a list of all your major assets and include account numbers and contact information for your banker, broker, and insurance agent.
- Copies of special needs trusts. Having a copy of these documents will protect the assets intended for your special needs child. Include information about where the original document is kept and who should be contacted when it is needed.
- Guardianship documents. This will help expedite the process of obtaining guardianship to include these documents.
- Government benefits. Include a list of government benefits your child receives and copies of the application forms. This will help future guardians when applying for benefits.
See Richard Newman, Special Needs Planning: Important Documents to Keep on Hand, Examiner, Oct. 30, 2014.