While parents are often caught up in the idea that they should treat all of their children equally, this is not always possible when one has a special needs child. In fact, as the name suggests, these children have special needs and often will from the time that they are born until the day that they are gone. In Washington, these children must be considered in almost every aspect of life planning, including estate planning.
Deciding how a special needs child will be cared for after his or her parents are both gone can be stressful. It is important to make informed decisions and choices when considering factors such as who will care for the child, and how and when the child will get their part of the inheritance. This is an issue, in part because these children often get government benefits, and there will be consequences when it comes to both benefits taxes.
Since government benefits are given based on the person’s need, an inheritance could cause the child to lose those benefits. If a child loses those benefits, he or she could lose housing, medical and some medical care as well. The same is true of tax rules. The child could suffer financially because of the inheritance instead of gaining anything.
There are ways around these issues that make it possible for parents to leave an inheritance to their special needs child without harming them financially. Anyone in Washington with a special needs child who is in the process of estate planning could benefit from the advice of a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorney. With the guidance of this lawyer, the parents can make sure to follow the legal steps needed to leave all of their children an inheritance without causing them any added grief.
Source: tickertape.com, “Estate Planning for Special Needs Children“, Jennifer Waters, June 14, 2017
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