The parents of a child with special needs will want to implement various safeguards and make certain plans for the child's maximum welfare. Seeing an estate planning attorney who is located in Ohio is an important first step in preparing the special needs plan. The parents will learn all of the information that they did not know, and they will become equipped to understand the importance and meaning of the legal instruments involved.
At the same time, if there are other children, planning on their behalf must be done also, generally according to typical options available by law. A key consideration for a child with special needs will be to keep the legal documents supportive of the child's qualifications for Social Security and applicable government benefits. This is best done through a special needs trust. The trust agreement will contain language preserving the right to collect all appropriate benefits.
One important aspect of providing for the special needs child is to reflect how much the child will need in future years. All expenses, needs and educational prospects are accounted for so that no gaps will confound the child or his or her representatives. It is not to be viewed, however, as a totally distinct and different process from that of the other children; instead, it is the same with some added provisions.
The parents' goal for the child will generally be to have a team of family members available to care for him or her and to assist the child in making decisions. The trust will be worded pursuant to Ohio law, and it will be flexible enough to allow for other intercessions on behalf of the child where additional action is necessary. The trust agreement should be revisited, like other estate planning documents, about every five years.