When you have a child with special needs, it’s important to adequately plan for the future. Here are three things to keep top of mind when developing your long-term plan:
1. Long-term care is for you, not just your child.
Many parents have a goal of bequeathing assets to a beneficiary with special needs and have saved properly overtime to do so. 52.3% of people have a long-term care need by the time they turn 65, 1 and long-term care insurance or eldercare planning can help you make the most of your assets, rather than exhausting them unnecessarily on an extended nursing home stay.
2. It is critical to be insurable, so consider applying ‘early’.
You might wonder when an appropriate time is to start your long-term care or elder care planning. You may start as early as your 40’s if there is a family history of ailments which may disqualify you from qualifying for insurance. 45% of applicants ages 70-79 are denied long-term care insurance due to health issues,1 and if you wait too long to apply, you or your spouse may not qualify. Furthermore, care-giving can result in significant wear and tear on the body and could complicate long-term care insurability if you prolong your insurance application.
3. Coordinating between multiple professionals and players takes time.
The long-term care planning process typically includes an attorney that specializes in estate planning or eldercare planning, but for special needs families you may want to consult a special needs planning attorney as well. Coordinating these attorneys as well as accountants, financial planners, advocates, social workers and guardians can be time consuming. Guardianship itself, if it is necessary, is a complicated, expensive and lengthy process. Some may even consider living trust planning to ensure their wishes are carried out in life in the case of unforeseen circumstances. It’s best to coordinate these matters ahead of time, rather than trying to sort through them in an urgent, unforeseen situation.
Most important of all is the active participation of your child throughout this process. With proper planning, these long-term care conversations will inspire hope and clarity for the remainder of you and your child’s life.
Have a long-term care or special needs planning question? Schedule your complimentary initial appointment today and speak with an expert regarding our custom plans and approach. 215-968-6638