Estate planning is an essential step for all families, but it can be particularly important for families with children and adults with special needs in Pennsylvania. Planning ahead can help ensure that your loved one with special needs is provided for financially and medically, and that they are able to maintain their quality of life even after you’re gone. Here are some steps you can take to create an effective estate plan for special needs children and adults in Pennsylvania.
Set Up a Special Needs Trust
A special needs trust is a type of trust set up to help a disabled person financially without jeopardizing their eligibility for government assistance programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These trusts can be established during your lifetime or through your will or other estate planning documents. Click to learn more here.
Choose a Trustee
Selecting the right trustee is critical for ensuring that your loved one with special needs is cared for according to your wishes. Consider choosing a family member or close friend who is familiar with your loved one’s needs and preferences, or you can consider hiring a professional trustee.
Create a Letter of Intent
A letter of intent is a document that outlines your loved one’s medical history, preferences, and other important information that can guide their care after you’re gone. This document can help ensure that your loved one’s care providers and trustees are well-informed and able to make informed decisions on their behalf.
Review Government Benefits
It’s important to understand how government benefits such as Medicaid and SSI can impact your loved one’s eligibility for financial support. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you navigate these complex rules and regulations to ensure that your estate plan provides maximum benefit for your loved one.
Update Your Estate Plan Regularly
Your estate plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect any changes in your loved one’s needs, financial situation, or medical status. This may involve revising your will, updating your trust or other estate planning documents, or making changes to beneficiary designations.
Estate planning for children and adults in Pennsylvania requires careful consideration and planning. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your loved one is provided for financially and medically, and that their quality of life is maintained even after you’re gone.