Financial Planning for a Child with Special Needs

Financial Planning for a Child with Special Needs
  • Opening Intro -

    Financial planning for your family is crucial, especially when your children are young. If you have a child with special needs, you have even more to think about.

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Planning for your child’s financial future can make a difference in their long-term quality of life and security.

Some disabilities may lessen or even eliminate your child’s ability to work in adulthood. Financial planning for a child with special needs doesn’t need to be a nightmare. Here are some tools to help lower you and your child’s financial stress later in life. 

Research special needs trusts

A special needs trust keeps your child eligible for government benefits for individuals with disabilities and individuals with special needs while ensuring secure asset management.

Typically, people are not qualified to receive government benefits if the family or individual’s income is over a certain point, or if the individual has a certain amount of assets. Instead of a traditional will, research trust administration services to decide the correct will plan for your family.

If you do decide to get a special needs trust for your child, make sure you research which one is the right fit for you and your family.

Keep an updated will

If you don’t already have a will, create one. It can take care of your child after you pass. If you already have a will, update it every three to five years or after any major financial or life changes.

These include a serious illness, major income changes, large purchases, or anything that significantly alters your life.

Choose a trustee

A trustee for your special needs trust is key to setting up your child for future comfort. In the event you can no longer manage your child’s finances, a trustee can take over the trust management. It’s important to choose someone trustworthy and knowledgeable about best money management practices. For some cases, a professional may be the best choice.

Plan for living situations

Your child won’t stay a child forever. Depending on their disability, they may eventually want more independence. It’s important to plan for this. Will your child want to move out when they reach adulthood? If this is a possibility, help them save and plan. Once your child is near adulthood, have a conversation with them about their goals and timelines.

other valuable tips:

Take out a life insurance policy

If you don’t yet have one, a life insurance policy is an option that can take care of your child when you die. There are different types of life insurance policies, so talk to an insurance agent or research which policies you qualify for that make sense for your financial situation.  An option may be to make your child’s special needs trustee the beneficiary of your life insurance if your child is under 18 years old.

Set saving goals

Evaluate your family’s income and assets. Decide how much you can afford to put into a savings account every month—and stick to it. Reevaluate this amount every three to five years or after any major financial changes, including income level fluctuation, serious illnesses, or debt occurrence.

Image Credit: financial planning child special needs by Pixabay

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