By Tony Snyder | November 1, 2010
Children with special needs are a true joy, but they do come with some challenges when it comes to making sure they are cared for after the death of their parents. If the children with special needs (SNC) are unable to care for themselves, and as medical advances enable people with disabilities to live longer, parents need to address who and how their special needs children will be care for long after Mom & Dad are passed away.
Here are a few thoughts, in no particular order:
1. It is critical for your estate planning attorney, your executor (in Michigan called a Personal Representative) and the person who will care for your SNC after you’ve passed to know where to find important legal papers such as their birth certificates, SS cards, health insurance cards, etc) for future paperwork filing.
2. The different governmental agencies you may have worked with to help obtain government assisted services for your SNC.
3. The paperwork for governmental benefits your child might receive, copies of said paperwork, what sort of aid/assistance your child is receiving, what entity is providing it, timelines for when a caregiver might need to re-apply, etc. This will overlap a bit with point #2.
4. Any random, yet necessary, paperwork your SNC might require, including: tax returns on your child, housing/schooling documents, and keepsakes such as pictures of the family.
5. A listing of any assets your child might have, this could include: bank accounts, stocks/bonds, insurance policies, etc and a list of who manages these accounts as well as where they held (both literally and financially).
Next week we’ll cover the estate planning aspect of dealing with special needs children and what you can do to make life for them (and their caregiver) as easy as possible when you’re no longer able.