Special Needs Estate Planning


Special needs is the broad category of requirements and care for individuals suffering from a wide range of physical disabilities, medical conditions, intellectual difficulties, or emotional problems, including physical conditions, learning difficulties, and behavioral problems.

What help will the government give us to help financially with our special needs child?

The federal and state governments have numerous benefits that are available to individuals with special needs. These programs vary from state to state, but many also have some type of Medicaid waiver that will cover residential, daycare, career, and other basic services.

Some of these major programs include: (i) Medicaid, which gives basic medical care; (ii) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which provide allowances for food and shelter to people with disabilities; and (iii) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which helps those with a disability, but requires that the individual hasn’t been able to work for at least a year because of the disability.

There's a lot to keep straight. How do we stay organized?

If you have a child with special needs, it's critical that you maintain all of your documentation in one safe place that you can access easily when needed.

Experts suggest that parents of children with special needs should have a file or lockbox to keep the information that future caregivers will need to care for the child after the parents have passed away.

Make sure that you regularly update the information in the file when there are changes in your family's situation, changes in the needs or desires of your child, and to detail any other issues that may help future caregivers in caring for your child.

So what exactly should be in my file?

Of course, there is no exact list, but you should include these types of documents and maintain your file with any changes:

That's a lot to cover. Why not let an expert help you? A special needs attorney has the background to make your lives a little easier. Make an appointment to visit with an attorney at The Law Office of Cheryl Chapman Henderson, LLC today.

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The Law Offices of Cheryl Chapman Henderson, LLC serves clients in the Washington DC Area and Maryland, including College Park, Bowie, and Silver Spring. She specializes in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate Avoidance Planning, Trust Administration, Wills & Trusts, Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Planning, Medicaid Crisis Planning, Veterans Benefits, Charitable Planning, Special Needs Planning and Estate Tax Planning.

  • Member - Elder Counsel
  • Member - Wealth Counsel
  • Member of the National Care Planning Council