Financial planning is important when special needs are in the picture.
Rearing children is expensive.
According to American College of Financial Services, rearing a child from birth to age 18 will cost $250,000 on average.
What if you have a child with special needs?
You can expect to double this number.
According to a recent WTNH article titled “Financial planning for families with children with special needs,” you will need to plan care and finances intentionally.
What should you consider?
You may not be available every moment of every day.
You may require help in providing care to your child with special needs.
Consequently, you will need to determine the amount and type of care required and budget accordingly.
Estate Planning Attorney and Accountant
Do not do your estate planning on your own.
Translation: this is not a DIY project.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to help preserve assets for your child.
For example, a supplemental needs trust can help you shield assets without disqualifying your child from government programs and support.
Create a will and perhaps a living trust, designating guardians and trustees to ensure care is provided according to your wishes when you are no longer around to do so yourself.
You may consider providing any caregiver with a letter of intent.
In this letter you can provide family history, medical history, information on what your child likes and dislikes, and any other wishes you may have.
A professional accountant will be able to help you take advantage of any tax breaks you may have as a caregiver for a child or dependent with special needs.
Selecting a financial advisor who specializes in helping families with children or dependents with special needs is important.
He or she can help you preserve and grow money for your child.
You may also find a friend in the government programs like Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.
Employee benefits may also be an option.
What might these include?
These may include reimbursement for childcare or even insurance to replace your income should you pass away or become unable to work.
Being the parent of a child with special needs brings both joy and stress.
Minimize the latter with proper planning and the support of others.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: WTNH (August 7, 2018) “Financial planning for families with children with special needs”