Protecting Your Special Needs Loved One in the Event of Your Death

If you have a child, parent, or other loved one who is a special needs individual, then you already know about the many challenges that come with caring for a special needs individual. Locating and paying for proper care can be very difficult. In fact, you may have spent months, even years, trying to get qualified for many of the state and federal assistance programs that are available for special needs individuals. If you die tomorrow though, is your loved one protected? Without a comprehensive estate plan the answer is probably “no.” Absent an estate plan that is geared toward protecting your special needs loved one, a number of unintended consequences can occur, including:

  • A court will decide who will be your loved one’s guardian or conservator
  • The state will decide how your assets are distributed when you die
  • Without written instructions, whoever is appointed guardian for your special needs loved one can only guess at things like the day-to-day schedule or your goals for your loved one
  • Assets intended to be left for the care of your loved one with special needs could be lost to creditors
  • Assets left to your loved one could be used to repay Medicaid or Medical Assistance
  • Your loved one could receive assets directly from your estate which could disqualify him or her from important government programs such as Medicaid, Medical Assistance or SSI