Byron Carlson Petri & Kalb, LLC | attorneys at law

Considerations for your will when you have a special needs child

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2022 | Estate Planning & Probate

Leaving behind your assets in a will can get complicated — especially if you’re passing along an inheritance to multiple children. There is always the concern that the division of assets is fair or that your last wishes are communicated clearly.

Things can get complicated when making a will if you care for a disabled child – no matter their age. An estimated 61 million adults in the United States currently live with a disability. If you’re parenting a child with special needs, there are a few things to consider when finalizing a will.

The who, how and what of a will

Even for those with the same condition, the level of disability is often different from person to person. You know your child best. When you’re deciding how to provide for their future, consider the following:

  • Extent of disability: Is your child able to attend to daily living activities or likely to reach independence? Some disabilities make it more or less likely that your child will need a life-long caregiver, and that’s a special consideration when making a will.
  • Person of trust: After you’re gone, is there someone who has expressively noted they would care for your child? Even communicating intent may not be enough if that person isn’t also financially stable and making good life choices.
  • Amount of inheritance: If you’re leaving a significant amount to care for the remainder of your child’s life, that could affect how your child is eligible for certain benefits. Still, there are ways to leave money and not affect eligibility.

If you’re planning to create a will when you have a special needs child, you may have concerns about what’s in their best interest. In that case, learning more about estate planning laws can help you determine your best options.