Having a disabled child often brings unique challenges particularly when the caregivers – who are often the child’s parents – can no longer care for their child due to death or disability. Careful planning can make all the difference in the life of the child as well as their siblings who often are left with the responsibility of caring for their disabled brother or sister. Any planning should consider:
1) A care plan that establishes where the special needs child will live and who will be responsible for his or her care.
2) A special needs trust for the disabled child. This type of trust can allow a disabled child to be eligible for government benefits while permitting the trust assets to supplement those benefits.
3) A Michigan ABLE account for the disabled child. The Michigan Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (MiABLE) allows $14,000 per year to be deposited into an ABLE account for a disabled child. Similar to a 529 account, the assets grow tax free and can be used for “qualified disability expenses” without disqualifying a disabled beneficiary from government benefits.
4) How to pay for the disabled child’s care needs. Without sufficient resources, the disabled child’s care options will likely be very limited. Using life insurance or other resources to provide for the child’s needs are an important consideration.
If you have a special needs child, it is essential that careful planning be done to ensure his or her needs will be met long after you’re gone. See an experienced elder law attorney for assistance.