Planning for Your
How to support your child/adult child with Asperger’s after you die?
by Dave Angel (parentingaspergerscommunity.com)
For parents of children with Asperger’s, estate planning is desirable to secure the future. Unfortunately, many parents are totally in the dark on this subject. They do not feel they have the assets required to make estate planning feasible. Plus, it costs money to make these legal plans. That money is desperately needed for current living expenses. What are average middle and lower income families supposed to do?
The truth is, for all families living with Asperger’s, estate planning is a very good idea. Whether your family is wealthy or below poverty level, there are some important details needed to secure your child’s future in the instance of your death. Use this information to learn a little more about estate planning so you can make appropriate choices.
- A special needs trust is invaluable for those left behind. This trust protects your child’s government benefits by sheltering the assets you leave behind. The trust becomes your beneficiary. You set it up to administer funds to cover your child’s needs. The assets belong to the trust; your child is not named as a beneficiary. Your child is able to receive government benefits with a special needs trust.
- Update your will and living will. If you haven’t created these documents, it is wise to think about it now. Your will establishes your wishes for your estate, including who takes over as legal guardian for your children. Your living will fills a similar role in the event of an incapacitating accident or illness.
- Stock dividends, government bonds, and fixed savings deposits offer parents and grandparents ways to save money for their future retirement and beyond. They must remember to protect these accounts with a special needs trust or their child with Asperger’s will risk losing government benefits like monthly disability payments and medical insurance coverage.
Many families are confused by Asperger’s estate planning and believe it is only necessary for wealthy families. Others have no assets or cannot afford the fees to set up special accounts. The simplest way to offer support for your child’s future is to ensure he is capable of supporting himself. Encourage your child to use his strengths and special talents to earn money. This may not be the best plan, but for many families, it is the most realistic plan. Estate planning is worth investigating. Talk to a special needs attorney in your community for more personalized information.
About the author
Dave Angel is a social worker from the U.K. who founded and runs www.parentingaspergerscommunity.com. Since 1998 Dave has worked with hundreds of families who have had children (and adults) with special needs (both young and old) and have a special interest in Asperger’s and ASD. He is the author of the “Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide” E-book (Volumes 1 and 2) which is a handbook for parents of children with Asperger’s Syndrome.
This article has been reproduced here with the author’s permission.
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