If you have a child with special needs, you likely spend a lot of time fighting for them to get the same treatment and opportunities that other kids their age get.
Yet however much you want people to treat them the same as other children, estate planning may require you to treat them differently. Here is why:
Your child may require personal help their whole life
You likely act as the primary caregiver for your child, but you cannot do this forever. While your child may grow up and be able to cope alone, often, they will require some degree of extra help. You need to find a way to ensure your child can take advantage of the benefits available to cover the cost of this help and other related expenses.
Putting money aside is one solution if you have it to spare, but if you put it in a bank account, the rules may require this money is spent down before your child can access benefits. A special needs trust allows you to pass the money onto your child without it all being used to pay for their care or medical needs.
It protects the money from other people
If you leave money to a child with learning difficulties, someone may try to exploit their lesser mental or social acuity for financial gain. By placing the money in a trust, you have someone reliable take care of it for them.
A special needs trust can benefit you, your child with special needs and the rest of your family. Finding out more about how they work enables you to decide whether to include one in your estate plan.