When a parent caring for a child with special needs thinks, "What if something were to happen to me?" it triggers some common fears, such as:

  • Who will continue to care and advocate for my child and ensure that his/her quality of life is maintained?
  • Who will manage my child's financial welfare?
  • If my child with special needs is named a beneficiary of my Will or Trust, will it jeopardize his/her rights to public benefits?

It is even more imperative for a person caring for a child with special needs to create an estate plan as it ensures that these top fears and other unique questions or issues are addressed if you were no longer able to care for your child.

Here are the top 5 benefits of creating a Special Needs Estate Plan:

  1. Establishing in your plan that assets are appointed to a trustee versus the child with special needs allows them to continue to receive state/government resources, while allowing the trustee to financially support additional out of pocket expenses through the estate plan.
  2. The Special Needs Estate Plan can also identify a management team for your son or daughter. Two key members of this team are the trustee, or someone who will financially manage the assets; and a special needs advocate whose sole responsibility is to continue the legacy of the your mission of providing the best education and resources for your child.
  3. The Estate Plan can also provide guidelines for your child's living arrangements, personal care, employment and social activities.
  4. Having an estate plan will also preserve the family's assets even after your child is deceased.
  5. Finally, the estate plan prevents potential family conflict, eliminates your child's risk of becoming assigned to a group home or institutionalized, and overall provides a very personalized and detailed road map as to what will happen to your assets, medical requests and other personal intentions; as well as the financial and personal care of your child.

How Can We Help?

Our Pasadena family law firm has extensive experience in Estate Planning including the drafting and administration of trusts & specialized trusts such as qualified domestic trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts and special needs trusts. Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you have questions.