Writing A Will When You Have A Disabled Child Who Needs Care

Posted on: 11 November 2019

Creating a will clarifies your wishes when it comes to the assets you leave behind. If you die without a will, your assets are divided up among your heirs. Establishing who the heirs are when no will is present requires knowing intestacy laws that determine who inherits from your estate when no will is present. It gets tricky if you don't have a spouse or children, and your estate can be divided up equally among a number of heirs. If you still have parents, they might inherit your money, siblings may be in the mix, and your money will go to heirs in equal amounts if you don't establish a will to state otherwise.

When You Have a Disabled Child

If you have a disabled child nearing adulthood, it's important to protect their ability to receive care in the future. When your disabled child becomes an adult, inheriting money directly can make them lose the benefits they currently depend on for their daily care. If you die without a will, your disabled child inherits cash that may make them ineligible for services, disrupting their care. When the amount is not enough to sustain the care they need over a lifetime, it is better to leave your disabled child assets in a special needs trust instead.

Understanding the Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust is one that can be set up for a disabled child who you want to inherit from your estate. The special needs trust is designed to provide supplemental care for your heir, and it doesn't go directly into their bank account. The trust is administered by a trustee, and the money can be used for a wide range of reasons. The goal is to have the money you want your disabled child to inherit be protected and avoid any disruption in the benefits they receive. The money can provide clothing, a vacation, or support staff for your disabled child without impacting any current benefits. A special needs trust can be used for almost anything, as long as it meets the approval of the trustee and the parameters of the trust.

When you create a will, your final wishes will be honored. In the event you have an heir in your life who receives benefits because of a disability, inheriting money directly is often a problem. Create a will and design a special needs trust when you want to protect a disabled heir you want to leave assets to. Lawyers like those at Davis and Mathis can help.


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