|When a Child Has a Disability
you're the caregiver for a child with a disability, experts recommend planning for the
possibility that the child will outlive you. Here's estate planning advice from the
National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities, a federally funded
clearinghouse in Washington, DC:
- Find a lawyer who specializes in legal and estate-planning matters for people with
disabilities. For referrals, contact a local disabilities group or your local bar
- Ask your lawyer about a "special needs trust" or similar arrangement that
enables parents to leave assets for a child's long-term needs and still preserve the
child's eligibility for valuable government benefits such as Social Security payments,
health care, subsidized housing and personal attendant care.
- Parents of a child with a mental disability (such as mental retardation or a mental
illness) may need special financial or estate plans if the child is unable to earn income
or manage his or her own financial affairs. Consider whether to name a guardian or
conservator in your will who would make decisions for your child after your death.